Phylogeny of the supertribe nebriitae (Coleoptera, carabidae) based on analyses of dna sequence data

David H. Kavanaugh, David R. Maddison, W. Brian Simison, Sean D. Schoville, Joachim Schmidt, Arnaud Faille, Wendy Moore, James M. Pflug, Sophie L. Archambeault, Tinya Hoang, Jei Ying Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The phylogeny of the carabid beetle supertribe Nebriitae is inferred from analyses of DNA sequence data from eight gene fragments including one nuclear ribosomal gene (28S), four nuclear-protein coding genes (CAD, topoisomerase 1, PEPCK, and wingless), and three mitochondrial gene fragments (16S + tRNA-Leu + ND1, COI (“barcode” region) and COI (“Pat/Jer” region)). Our taxon sample included 264 exemplars representing 241 species and subspecies (25% of the known nebriite fauna), 39 of 41 currently accepted genera and subgenera (all except Notiokasis and Archileistobrius), and eight outgroup taxa. Separate maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of individual genes, combined ML analyses of nu-clear, nuclear protein-coding, and mitochondrial genes, and combined ML and Bayesian analyses of the eight-gene-fragment matrix resulted in a well-resolved phylogeny of the supertribe, with most nodes in the tree strongly supported. Within Nebriitae, 167 internal nodes of the tree (out of the maximum pos-sible 255) are supported by maximum-likelihood bootstrap values of 90% or more. The tribes Notio-philini, Opisthiini, Pelophilini, and Nebriini are well supported as monophyletic but relationships among these are not well resolved. Nippononebria is a distinct genus more closely related to Leistus than Nebria. Archastes, Oreonebria, Spelaeonebria, and Eurynebria, previously treated as distinct genera by some authors, are all nested within a monophyletic genus Nebria. Within Nebria, four major clades are recognized: (1) the Oreonebria Series, including eight subgenera arrayed in two subgeneric complexes (the Eonebria and Oreonebria Complexes); (2) the Nebriola Series, including only subgenus Nebriola; (3) the Nebria Series, including ten subgenera arrayed in two subgeneric complexes, the Boreonebria and Nebria Com-plexes, with the latter further subdivided into three subgeneric subcomplexes (the Nebria, Epinebriola, and Eunebria Subcomplexes)); and (4) the Catonebria Series, including seven subgenera arrayed in two subge-neric complexes (the Reductonebria and Catonebria Complexes). A strong concordance of biogeography with the inferred phylogeny is noted and some evident vicariance patterns are highlighted. A revised classi-fication, mainly within the Nebriini, is proposed to reflect the inferred phylogeny. Three genus-group taxa (Nippononebria, Vancouveria and Archastes) are given revised status and seven are recognized as new syn-onymies (Nebriorites Jeannel, 1941 and Marggia Huber, 2014 = Oreonebria Daniel, 1903; Pseudonebriola Ledoux & Roux, 1989 = Boreonebria Jeannel, 1937; Patrobonebria Bänninger, 1923, Paranebria Jeannel, 1937 and Barbonebriola Huber & Schmidt, 2017 = Epinebriola Daniel & Daniel, 1904; and Asionebria Shilenkov, 1982 = Psilonebria Andrewes, 1923). Six new subgenera are proposed and described for newly recognized clades: Parepinebriola Kavanaugh subgen. nov. (type species: Nebria delicata Huber & Schmidt, 2017), Insulanebria Kavanaugh subgen. nov. (type species: Nebria carbonaria Eschscholtz, 1829), Erwine-bria Kavanaugh subgen. nov. (type species Nebria sahlbergii Fischer von Waldheim, 1828), Nivalonebria Kavanaugh subgen. nov. (type species: Nebria paradisi Darlington, 1931), Neaptenonebria Kavanaugh subgen. nov. (type species: Nebria ovipennis LeConte, 1878), and Palaptenonebria Kavanaugh subgen. nov. (type species: Nebria mellyi Gebler, 1847). Future efforts to better understand relationships within the supertribe should aim to expand the taxon sampling of DNA sequence data, particularly within sub-genera Leistus and Evanoleistus of genus Leistus and the Nebria Complex of genus Nebria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-152
Number of pages112
Issue number1044
StatePublished - 2021


  • DNA
  • Evolutionary tree
  • Ground beetles
  • Molecular phylogenetics
  • Nomenclature
  • Systematics
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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