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Larvae and pupae of Dascillidae (Coleoptera): morphological study and discussion of their relationships to Scarabaeoidea and Eulichadidae

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

External morphology of late-instar larvae and pupae of the coleopteran family Dascillidae is revised. Larvae studied for Dascillus Latreille with two species from Europe and North America, Notodascillus Carter from Australia and Pleolobus Philippi from Chile; pupae studied for D. davidsoni LeConte. Larval diagnosis and description of the family are updated. Dascillid larvae exhibit little morphological variation and share eight apparently apomorphic characters. Widely accepted sister-group relationship between Dascillidae and Rhipiceridae is not supported with larval morphology because ectoparasitic larvae of Rhipiceridae are poorly known and apparently highly modified morphologically. The superfamily Scarabaeoidea is unlikely to be a close relative of Dascillidae since this hypothesis is based mainly on habitat-dependent convergences of soil-dwellers (grub-like body shape, reduced stemmata) or possible symplesiomorphic similarities. Ten similarities between larvae of Dascillidae and Eulichadidae (Dryopoidea) were found. Some of these are possibly synapomorphies of these two groups. Larval and pupal morphology of Dascillidae is illustrated by 26 drawings.


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