Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny 72(3): 257-279, doi: 10.3897/asp.72.e31789
Phylogeny of the North American scorpion genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Diplocentridae) based on morphology, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA
expand article infoCarlos Eduardo Santibanez, Oscar F. Francke, Lorenzo Prendini
‡ Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, United States of America
Open Access
The scorpion genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1861, endemic to North and Central America, is the most diverse in family Diplocentridae Karsch, 1880. There is considerable morphological variation among the species of Diplocentrus. It is necessary to test the monophyly and phylogenetic position of Diplocentrus in order to revise its diagnosis and taxonomic limits. The present contribution provides a phylogenetic analysis of 29 species of Diplocentrus, five exemplar species representing the three putatively most closely related diplocentrid genera, and an exemplar of a more distantly related diplocentrid genus. The analysis was based on 95 morphological characters and 4202 aligned nucleotides from DNA sequences of five markers in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Separate and simultaneous parsimony analyses of the morphological and DNA sequence data were conducted with equal weighting and six implied weighting regimes. The nuclear and mitochondrial DNA datasets were also analyzed separately and simultaneously with Bayesian inference. The resulting topologies recovered the monophyly of Diplocentrus, with the exception of two neobothriotaxic species from central Mexico, for which a new genus Kolotl Santibáñez-López et al., 2014, is justified. The keyserlingii group, as previously defined, was not monophyletic due to the placement of two species in the mexicanus group; the rest of its component species were monophyletic, however. A third clade was recovered that has not been previously recognized: the zacatecanus group, comprising four species from northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S.A. New insights are provided concerning relationships among Diplocentrus and the diplocentrid genera Bioculus Stahnke, 1968 and Didymocentrus Kraepelin, 1905, the phylogenetic positions of which were previously ambiguous.
Diplocentridae, Diplocentrus, phylogeny, molecular data, morphology