Phylogenetic relationships of the Megapodiidae as indicated by their ischnoceran, in particular goniodid, chewing lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera)

Publication Type:Conference Paper
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:E. Mey
Editor:R. Dekker, Jones, D., Benshemesh, J.
Conference Name:Third International Megapode Symposium
Date Published:1999
Publisher:Zoologische Verhandelingen
Keywords:chewing lice, coevolution, intrafamilial, ischnoceran, lice, Megapodiidae, phylogeny

Inter- and intrafamilial relationships among the Megapodiidae are presented and discussed based on their host-specific chewing louse fauna, in particular the Goniodidae (Ischnocera). Use is made of both empirical evidence and statistical methods. So far, 53 species of chewing lice have been described which are found only on megapodes, a number which is still growing. The relationships among the Goniodidae genera on megapodes have been analysed using Wagner parsimony analysis rooted by character polarity (51 morphological features). Based on their chewing lice, the Megapodiidae seem to be more closely related to the Phasianidae than to the Cracidae. Megapodes share no Ischnocera with the cracids, while they share a single genus Goniocotes Burmeister, 1838 (one species only, on Macrocephalon maleo S. Muller, 1846) with the Phasianidae. The distribution of 18 Ischnocera genera support the following intrafamilial division: Alectura Latham, 1824, and Aepypodius Oustalet, 1880, on the one hand and Megapodius Gaimard, 1823, and Eulipoa Ogilvie-Grant, 1893, on the other form respective sister groups. The relationships between Leipoa Gould, 1840, Talegalla Lesson, 1828, and Macrocephalon S. Miiller, 1846, remain unclear.

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