Phylogenetic analysis of the small fungivorous family Merothripidae (Thysanoptera)
A phylogenetic analysis of the fungivorous Terebrantia family Merothripidae is performed based on 73 morphological characters and 24 taxa representing the three genera of Merothripidae and outgroups. Heterothrips mexicanus Watson, Heterothripidae; Dorythrips Hood, Melanthripidae; and two genera of Aeolothripidae,Gelothrips Bhatti and Orothrips Moulton represent the outgroup. The Melanthripidae and Aeolothripidae genera are included in order to have a first approximation of the phylogenetic relationships between Merothripidae and these two families (previously suggested to be close relatives). According to the results, the monophyly of Merothripidae is recovered; within Merothripidae, Erotidothrips is the sister group of Damerothrips+Merothrips. Dorythrips is supported as the sister group of Merothripidae, and Aeolothripidae are the sister group to that clade. Additionally, Merothripidae genera are diagnosed and illustrated.