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Acta zoológica mexicana

On-line version ISSN 2448-8445Print version ISSN 0065-1737


ROMERO NAPOLES, Jesús; AYERS, Tina J.  and  DAN JOHNSON, Clarence. Cladistics, bruchids and host plants: evolutionary interactions in Amblycerus (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). Acta Zool. Mex [online]. 2002, n.86, pp.01-16. ISSN 2448-8445.

A preliminary cladistic analysis of forty species of Amblycerus Thunberg is presented based on 29 morphological characters. The analysis generated four equally parsimonious trees of 60 steps in length with a consistency index of 0.63 and a retention index of 0.88. By replacing host families by each species of Amblycerus on the cladogram, an approximation of macroevolution into host taxa was formulated. These bruchids appear to have moved from the plant family Fabaceae into 12 other plant families, with many species into the families Sterculiaceae and Boraginaceae. Various factors including oviposition behavior are cited for some host shifts. Plant chemistry is especially important but we only have correlative data to support these conclusions. To us, it appears that the most parsimonious explanation for the host shifts that we observed was by macroevolution during enhanced rates of bruchid diversification in the Recent epoch.

Keywords : Amblycerus; cladistics; macroevolution.

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