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Reconsideration of anopheline mosquito phylogeny (Diptera: Culicidae: Anophelinae) based on morphological data

  • Ralph E. Harbach (a1) and Ian J. Kitching (a1)

The phylogeny of anopheline mosquitoes (Culicidae: Anophelinae) is re-examined using morphological data derived from adults, fourth-instar larvae and pupae. Based on the data set of Sallum et al. (2000), we add some previously missing data and simplify and recode characters to eliminate ambiguities and more accurately reflect homologies, with special emphasis on characters of the male genitalia that provide the main criteria for the subgeneric classification of genus Anopheles. The principal aim of the study is to assess objectively the phylogenetic relationships and classification of two taxa not included by Sallum et al. (2000): Anopheles corethroides, a representative of the Australasian Stigmaticus Group, and An. kyondawensis, an unusual Oriental species whose adult and pupal stages were only recently discovered. The revised data set consists of 167 characters for 66 species representing the three traditionally recognised genera of Anophelinae, the six traditionally accepted subgenera of genus Anopheles and all informal series and most species groups of subgenera Anopheles, Cellia and Nyssorhynchus. The data are analysed using equal weighting (EW) and implied weighting (IW). Analysis under EW generates a strict consensus tree with principal lineages consistent with those reported by Sallum et al. (2000). Analysis under IW supports the monophyly of Anophelinae, the basal position of Chagasia, the monophyly of subgenera Cellia, Kerteszia and Nyssorhynchus, and the sister relationship of Kerteszia + Nyssorhynchus, but otherwise yields relationships that differ significantly in one respect or another from those obtained in all previous analyses of both morphological and molecular data. Subgenus Anopheles is arrayed as a polyphyletic lineage basal to a monophyletic clade comprising the Neotropical Kerteszia + Nyssorhynchus and the Old World Cellia in a sister-group relationship. Bironella, Lophopodomyia and Stethomyia are firmly nested within subgenus Anopheles, which would nevertheless still be paraphyletic if these taxa were subsumed within it. Anopheles kyondawensis is well supported as the sister group of Bironella + all other Anopheles. Bironella, Stethomyia, An. corethroides and several other Anopheles clades are each strongly supported in a pectinate series of relationships, terminating in the clade comprising subgenera Cellia, Kerteszia and Nyssorhynchus. These relationships and other aspects of the phylogeny are discussed in relation to the formal and informal classification of genus Anopheles.

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Systematics and Biodiversity
  • ISSN: 1477-2000
  • EISSN: 1478-0933
  • URL: /core/journals/systematics-and-biodiversity
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