A morphological phylogeny for four families of amblyceran lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera: Menoponidae, Boopidae, Laemobothriidae, Ricinidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2003
Authors:I. K. Marshall
Journal:Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Pagination:39 - 82
Date Published:2003
Keywords:cladistics, coevolution, cospeciation, host, louse, morphology, parasite, phylogeny

The suborder Amblycera (Insecta: Phthiraptera) comprises seven recognized families of parasitic lice. Three of these families (the Menoponidae, Laemobothriidae and Ricinidae) are present on a wide range of avian hosts. The four remaining families are restricted to a small section of mammals (the Boopiidae are parasites of Australian and New Guinean marsupials, and the Gyropidae, Trimenoponidae and Abrocomophagidae parasitize South and Central American rodents). This study uses a morphological approach to examine the evolutionary relationships between the genera from four amblyceran families: the Menoponidae, Boopiidae, Laemobothriidae and Ricinidae. Genera are represented by exemplars and a total of 44 louse taxa and one outgroup taxon were included. A cladistic analysis of 147 unordered characters recovered six equally parsimonious trees. Bootstrap, jackknife and Bremer support analyses were undertaken to assess the level of support for each resolved node in the strict consensus topology. Strong support was found for deep branch relationships between the families and in some cases for supra-generic groupings within families. The clades present in the strict consensus tree are discussed with reference to supra-generic and interfamily relationships, character choice, morphological convergence and host distribution. This study is the first phylogeny presented solely for amblyceran genera.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith