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Colophon larvae: descriptions and phylogenetic implications

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The aim of the Colophon larval study was to enable researchers to identify the species found in the field; to use larvae as an alternative for adults in molecular studies; to comment on possible phylogenetic information that may contribute to the sub-familial placement of the genus; and to obtain habitat preference data. To achieve this, larvae of four Colophon species were examined and their main diagnostic morphological characters identified. Larvae live in a fairly homogeneous micro-habitat of moist, humus-rich soil in protected places such as under rocky overhangs and amongst the roots and tussocks of Restionaceae. Colophon larvae show small inter-specific differences and larval characters contributed little equivocal information from which phylogenetic support for family placement could be deduced. Apparently, as with many scarabaeoid groups (Trogidae, Scarabaeidae), larval morphology may not have diversified much from the basal ground-plan and it remains for other (adult) phylogenetically significant morphological characters or DNA to provide more clarity on Colophon’s subfamilial placement.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, Pretoria, South Africa

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/content/journals/10.1163/1876312x-45012113
2015-01-24
2016-12-08

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