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Megalothorax laevis (Neelipleona, Neelidae): Account of a neglected springtail widely distributed in the intertropical zone

  • C. Schneider (a1), S. D. Zon (a2) and C. A. D'Haese (a1)

The springtail Megalothorax laevis Denis, 1948 is redescribed from a broad sampling in the intertropical zone: Vietnam (including type locality), Ivory Coast, Gabon, Réunion island and French Guiana. Pseudopore-like elements are for the first time reported on the trunk and legs of Megalothorax species. New molecular data for M. laevis (16S rDNA, 28S rDNA d1 and d2 and COI Barcode) are provided. The phylogenetic position of the species within the Megalothorax genus is analysed. Megalothorax laevis belongs to the incertus group but shares similitudes with the minimus group acquired through evolutionary convergences (such as smooth lamellae of the mucro). Those similitudes might have created confusion between M. minimus and M. laevis. While M. minimus used to be regarded cosmopolitan, M. laevis has been overlooked since its original discovery. However, the present sampling led us to believe that M. laevis replace M. minimus as the commonest edaphic Megalothorax species in the intertropical zone. A key to the Megalothorax species with smooth mucro lamellae is provided.

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International Journal of Tropical Insect Science
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