Monophyly of terrestrial adephagan beetles as indicated by three nuclear genes (Coleoptera: Carabidae and Trachypachidae)

David R. Maddison, Wendy Moore, Michael D. Baker, Tana M. Ellis, Karen A. Ober, Jamie J. Cannone, Robin R. Gutell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The beetle suborder Adephaga is traditionally divided into two sections on the basis of habitat, terrestrial Geadephaga and aquatic Hydradephaga. Monophyly of both groups is uncertain, and the relationship of the two groups has implications for inferring habitat transitions within Adephaga. Here we examine phylogenetic relationships of these groups using evidence provided by DNA sequences from all four suborders of beetles, including 60 species of Adephaga, 4 Archostemata, 3 Myxophaga, and 10 Polyphaga. We studied 18S ribosomal DNA and 28S ribosomal DNA, aligned with consideration of secondary structure, as well as the nuclear protein-coding gene wingless. Independent and combined Bayesian, likelihood, and parsimony analyses of all three genes supported placement of Trachypachidae in a monophyletic Geadephaga, although for analyses of 28S rDNA and some parsimony analyses only if Coleoptera is constrained to be monophyletic. Most analyses showed limited support for the monophyly of Hydradephaga. Outside of Adephaga, there is support from the ribosomal genes for a sister group relationship between Adephaga and Polyphaga. Within the small number of sampled Polyphaga, analyses of 18S rDNA, wingless, and the combined matrix supports monophyly of Polyphaga exclusive of Scirtoidea. Unconstrained analyses of the evolution of habitat suggest that Adephaga was ancestrally aquatic with one transition to terrestrial. However, in analyses constrained to disallow changes from aquatic to terrestrial habitat, the phylogenies imply two origins of aquatic habit within Adephaga.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-62
Number of pages20
JournalZoologica Scripta
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Monophyly of terrestrial adephagan beetles as indicated by three nuclear genes (Coleoptera: Carabidae and Trachypachidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this