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Open Access The phylogenetic conundrum of Lutzia(Diptera: Culicidae: Culicini): a cautionary account of conflict and support

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The phylogenetic conundrum of Lutzia(Diptera: Culicidae: Culicini): a cautionary account of conflict and support

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LutziaTheobald was reduced to a subgenus of Culexin 1932 and was treated as such until it was restored to its original generic status in 2003, based mainly on modifications of the larvae for predation. Previous phylogenetic studies based on morphological and molecular data have provided conflicting support for the generic status of Lutzia: analyses of morphological data support the generic status whereas analyses based on DNA sequences do not. Our previous phylogenetic analyses of Culicini (based on 169 morphological characters and 86 species representing the four genera and 26 subgenera of Culicini, most informal group taxa of subgenus Culexand five outgroup species from other tribes) seemed to indicate a conflict between adult and larval morphological data. Hence, we conducted a series of comparative and data exclusion analyses to determine whether the alternative positions of Lutziaare due to conflicting signal or to a lack of strong signal. We found that separate and combined analyses of adult and larval data support different patterns of relationships between Lutziaand other Culicini. However, the majority of conflicting clades are poorly supported and once these are removed from consideration, most of the topological disparity disappears, along with much of the resolution, suggesting that morphology alone does not have sufficiently strong signal to resolve the position of Lutzia. We critically examine the results of other phylogenetic studies of culicinine relationships and conclude that no morphological or molecular data set analysed in any study conducted to date has adequate signal to place Lutziaunequivocally with regard to other taxa in Culicini. Phylogenetic relationships observed thus far suggest that Lutziais placed within Culexbut further data and extended taxon sampling are required to confirm its position relative to Culex.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK

LutziaTheobald was reduced to a subgenus of Culexin 1932 and was treated as such until it was restored to its original generic status in 2003, based mainly on modifications of the larvae for predation. Previous phylogenetic studies based on morphological and molecular data have provided conflicting support for the generic status of Lutzia: analyses of morphological data support the generic status whereas analyses based on DNA sequences do not. Our previous phylogenetic analyses of Culicini (based on 169 morphological characters and 86 species representing the four genera and 26 subgenera of Culicini, most informal group taxa of subgenus Culexand five outgroup species from other tribes) seemed to indicate a conflict between adult and larval morphological data. Hence, we conducted a series of comparative and data exclusion analyses to determine whether the alternative positions of Lutziaare due to conflicting signal or to a lack of strong signal. We found that separate and combined analyses of adult and larval data support different patterns of relationships between Lutziaand other Culicini. However, the majority of conflicting clades are poorly supported and once these are removed from consideration, most of the topological disparity disappears, along with much of the resolution, suggesting that morphology alone does not have sufficiently strong signal to resolve the position of Lutzia. We critically examine the results of other phylogenetic studies of culicinine relationships and conclude that no morphological or molecular data set analysed in any study conducted to date has adequate signal to place Lutziaunequivocally with regard to other taxa in Culicini. Phylogenetic relationships observed thus far suggest that Lutziais placed within Culexbut further data and extended taxon sampling are required to confirm its position relative to Culex.

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/content/journals/10.1163/1876312x-45032119
2015-05-30
2017-11-24

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