A view from the edge of the forest : recent progress in understanding the relationships of the insect orders

Yeates, David K., Cameron, Stephen L., & Trautwein, Michelle (2012) A view from the edge of the forest : recent progress in understanding the relationships of the insect orders. Australian Journal of Entomology, 51(2), pp. 79-87.

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Research over the last two decades has significantly increased our understanding of the evolutionary position of the insects among other arthropods, and the relationships among the insect Orders. Many of these insights have been established through increasingly sophisticated analyses of DNA sequence data from a limited number of genes. Recent results have established the relationships of the Holometabola, but relationships among the hemimetabolous orders have been more difficult to elucidate. A strong consensus on the relationships among the Palaeoptera (Ephemeroptera and Odonata) and their relationship to the Neoptera has not emerged with all three possible resolutions supported by different data sets. While polyneopteran relationships generally have resisted significant resolution, it is now clear that termites, Isoptera, are nested within the cockroaches, Blattodea. The newly discovered order Mantophasmatodea is difficult to place with the balance of studies favouring Grylloblattodea as sister-group. While some studies have found the paraneopteran orders (Hemiptera, Thysanoptera, Phthiraptera and Psocoptera) monophyletic, evidence suggests that parasitic lice (Phthiraptera) have evolved from groups within the book and bark lice (Psocoptera), and may represent parallel evolutions of parasitism within two major louse groups. Within Holometabola, it is now clear that Hymenoptera are the sister to the other orders, that, in turn are divided into two clades, the Neuropteroidea (Coleoptera, Neuroptera and relatives) and the Mecopterida (Trichoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera and their relatives). The enigmatic order Strepsiptera, the twisted wing insects, have now been placed firmly near Coleoptera, rejecting their close relationship to Diptera that was proposed some 15years ago primarily based on ribosomal DNA data. Phylogenomic-scale analyses are just beginning to be focused on the relationships of the insect orders, and this is where we expect to see resolution of palaeopteran and polyneopteran relationships. Future research will benefit from greater coordination between intra and inter-ordinal analyses. This will maximise the opportunities for appropriate outgroup choice at the intraordinal level and provide the background knowledge for the interordinal analyses to span the maximum phylogenetic scope within groups.

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8 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 51377
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Dictyoptera, Holometabola, Insecta, Palaeoptera, Paraneoptera, Polyneoptera
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-6055.2012.00857.x
ISSN: 1326-6756
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 03 Jul 2012 22:48
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2012 22:49

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