Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny 75(3): 535-554, doi: 10.3897/asp.75.e31923
Eyes in the dark ... Shedding light on the antlion phylogeny and the enigmatic genus Pseudimares Kimmins (Neuropterida: Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae)
expand article infoDavide Badano, Horst Aspöck, Ulrike Aspöck§, Elisabeth Haring
‡ University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria§ Natural History Museum Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Open Access
The systematic position of the antlion Pseudimares Kimmins has been disputed since description of the genus. Pseudimares is one of the most enigmatic and unusual members of Myrmeleontidae and probably of all Neuroptera. The taxon has been usually tied to the antlion subfamily Palparinae, although its phylogenetic affinities have never been thoroughly investigated and the monophyly of the subfamily as a whole has never been corroborated. We reconstruct for the first time the phylogenetic affinities of Pseudimares based on both morphological and molecular genetic data. The widely accepted subfamily level subdivision of antlions (Stilbopteryginae, Palparinae, Myrmeleontinae) is refuted in all our analyses, since Stilbopteryginae in the traditional sense are recovered as deeply nested within Myrmeleontidae forming a monophylum with Palparinae, while Myrmeleontinae are poorly supported by the parsimony analysis. In our morphology-based parsimony analysis, Pseudimares is the sister taxon of Stilbopteryx and Aeropteryx, which makes the traditional Palparinae paraphyletic. This result is further supported by our phylogenetic reconstruction based on molecular data, which found a clade including Pseudimares and Stilbopteryx, which is nested within the traditional Palparinae. The high genetic distances measured among the analysed taxa suggest that these groups quickly diverged in ancient times, although they remained morphologically homogeneous. In conformity with the results of the phylogenetic analyses, we propose a new classification scheme for antlions, one that merges Stilbopteryx and Aeropteryx into an expanded concept of the subfamily Palparinae.
Systematics, Myrmeleontiformia, Palparinae, Stilbopteryginae, Pseudimarini, antlion, West Palaearctic.