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Phylogenetic analysis and biogeography of Aegean taxa of the genus Dendarus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

The genus Dendarus Latr. is distributed throughout the Mediterranean basin with numerous species in the Aegean islands. This paper presents a phylogenetic analysis and the biogeography of most taxa present in the area. Phylogenetic analysis of two outgroup and 25 ingroup taxa based on adult morphology, including 50 characters and 119 character states, produced two equally parsimonious trees (tree length = 148, C.I. = 0.42, R.I. = 0.70, R.C. = 0.294). These trees provide strong support for the monophyly of Dendarus and also define four species groups: the foraminosus group, present mainly on the island of Crete; the rhodius group, present in Dodecanese islands, the sinuatus group present in the central Aegean islands, and another group consisting of taxa from mainland Greece (D. messenius, D. caelatus, D. tenellus, and D. plicatulus paganettii). All area cladograms produced by Compatibility Component Analysis, Brooks Parsimony Analysis, and especially by Component Analysis, correspond quite closely to the hypothesized palaeogeographic history of the studied area and therefore partly support the idea of a vicariant evolution of Dendarus taxa in this region. We distinguished certain monophyletic groups distributed (with some exceptions) within well-defined geographical and palaeogeographical regions of the Aegean. However, we found certain inconsistencies (with Reconciled Tree Analysis) that are probably the result of dispersal, extinction, or duplication events that are independent of the sequence of vicariance events.


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