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In this paper we describe T. pallisei sp. n., a new representative of the genus Troglocharinus Reitter, 1908 (Coleoptera, Leiodidae, Leptodirini), a strictly subterranean genus restricted to the Eastern Pyrenees and some coastal areas in Catalo-nia. All known specimens of T. pallisei sp. n. were collected in a cave next to the town of La Riba, in the province of Tarragona (Spain), situated between the distribution areas of the species of the T. orcinus complex and T. espanoli Jeannel, 1930. It can be separated from the other members of the T. orcinus complex by the presence of penicillus in the apex of the parameres of the aedeagus and from T. espanoli by the presence of a mesoventral keel; it also differs from both by its long and erect pubescence. A Bayesian molecular phylogeny including representatives of the main lineages within the ge-nus Troglocharinus, based on ca. 5211 Kb of 5 mitochondrial and 4 nuclear genes, placed T. pallisei sp. n. as sister to T. orcinus Jeannel, 1910, and both sister to T. espanoli, in perfect agreement with their geographic distributions and the in-ferred geographic expansion of the genus to the south, with an estimated divergence of ca. 1.3 Ma. In agreement with the results of a previous phylogenetic study, the subgenus Antrocharidius Jeannel, 1910 is synonymised with Troglocharinus (syn.n.). Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.

Faille A.,Zoologische Staatssammlung | Faille A.,French Natural History Museum | Andujar C.,University of Murcia | Andujar C.,Natural History Museum in London | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: To test different biogeographical scenarios for the evolution of the ground beetles of the Trechus fulvus group, a lineage with many narrowly distributed flightless subterranean species, highly suitable for tracing their biogeographical history. Location: The Western Palaearctic, focusing on the Betic-Rifean area between south-east Iberia and north Morocco. Methods: We sequenced 3.3 kb of four mitochondrial and two nuclear genes of 30 individuals of 15 species of the T. fulvus group, plus 29 outgroups. We reconstructed their phylogeny and estimated divergence times using Bayesian probabilities and a priori evolutionary rates, and their ancestral distribution using maximum likelihood. Results: The phylogenetic reconstruction uncovered multiple independent colonizations of the subterranean environment within the T. fulvus group, a scenario also supported by variation in troglomorphic characters. Most of the Moroccan and south-east Iberian species form a clade with strong geographical structure, including the former genus Antoinella. The biogeographical model best fitting the current distribution and phylogeny of the group was a late Miocene palaeogeographical scenario with isolated populations on the Betic and Rifean areas and a south-eastern Iberian origin of the north Moroccan species. The widespread T. fulvus was sister to a central Moroccan species, suggesting a second Iberian-North African vicariance event within the group. One of the species, T. lallemantii, expanded its range to the east (Algeria and Tunisia) and the north (extreme south of the Iberian Peninsula) during the Pleistocene. Main conclusions: The T. fulvus group originated in the early Miocene, and the south-eastern Iberian lineage in the Tortonian. The lineage dispersed to Morocco during the Messinian, diversifying in rapid succession in the Atlas and the Rif and colonizing the subterranean environment multiple times. The geography of the Betic-Rifean region at the end of the Miocene can still be traced from the distribution of the extant species of the group. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Rizzo V.,University Pompeu Fabra | Sanchez-Fernandez D.,University Pompeu Fabra | Fresneda J.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | Cieslak A.,University Pompeu Fabra | Ribera I.,University Pompeu Fabra
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2015

Background: A key question in evolutionary biology is the relationship between species traits and their habitats. Caves offer an ideal model to test the adjustment of species to their surrounding temperature, as they provide homogeneous and simple environments. We compared two species living under different thermal conditions within a lineage of Pyrenean beetles highly modified for the subterranean life since the Miocene. One, Troglocharinus fonti, is found in caves at 4-11°C in the ancestral Pyrenean range. The second, T. ferreri, inhabits the coastal area of Catalonia since the early Pliocene, and lives at 14-16°C. Results: We found no differences in their short term upper thermal limit (ca. 50°C), similar to that of most organisms, or their lower thermal limit (ca. -2.5°C), higher than for most temperate insects and suggesting the absence of cryoprotectants. In longer term tests (7 days) survival between 6-20°C was almost 100% for both species plus two outgroups of the same lineage, but all four died between 23-25°C, without significant differences between them. Conclusions: Our results suggest that species in this lineage have lost some of the thermoregulatory mechanisms common in temperate insects, as their inferred default tolerance range is larger than the thermal variation experienced through their whole evolutionary history. © 2015 Rizzo et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

Cieslak A.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Cieslak A.,University Pompeu Fabra | Fresneda J.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | Ribera I.,University Pompeu Fabra
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2014

Research on subterranean organisms has focused on the colonization process and some of the associated phenotypic changes, but little is known on the long-term evolutionary dynamics of subterranean lineages and the origin of some highly specialized complex characters. One of the most extreme modifications is the reduction of the number of larval instars in some Leptodirini beetles from the ancestral 3 to 2 and ultimately a single instar. This reduction is usually assumed to have occurred independently multiple times within the same lineage and geographical area, but its evolution has never been studied in a phylogenetic framework. Using a comprehensive molecular phylogeny, we found a low number of independent origins of the reduction in the number of instars, with a single transition, dated to the Oligocene-Miocene, from 3 to 2 and then 1 instar in the Pyrenees, the best-studied area. In the Pyrenees, the 1-instar lineage had a diversification rate (0.22 diversification events per lineage per million years) significantly higher than that of 3- or 2-instar lineages (0.10), and similar to that seen in other Coleopteran radiations. Far from being evolutionary dead-ends, ancient lineages fully adapted to subterranean life seem able to persist and diversify over long evolutionary periods. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Pinol J.,CREAF | Pinol J.,University of Barcelona | Ribes E.,University of Barcelona | Ribes J.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | And 2 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2012

The Heteroptera assemblage of a citrus grove and how it was affected by ant-exclusion was examined during transformation from conventional to organic agriculture. The results showed that the Heteroptera assemblage changed dramatically over the eight years of the study: at first, it mainly consisted of herbivorous lygaeids and predatory anthocorids but became dominated by predatory mirids in 2008-2009. The predator/herbivore ratio increased steadily over the eight years of the study. Ants can form mutualistic relationships with heteropteran pests. However, exclusion of ants from canopies did not affect the Heteroptera assemblage at the beginning of the study, but had a profound effect later on. In particular, ant-exclusion increased the abundance of most predatory Heteroptera, except for the myrmecomorphic mirid Pilophorus perplexus, which was approximately five times more abundant in control than in ant-excluded trees; the analyses showed that the only mimicked ant species was Lasius grandis. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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