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Kergoat G.J.,Montpellier SupAgro | Prowell D.P.,Louisiana State University | Le Ru B.P.,Unite de Recherche IRD 072 | Mitchell A.,Research and Collections | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2012

Thanks to the recent development of integrative approaches that combine dated phylogenies with models of biogeographic evolution, it is becoming more feasible to assess the roles of dispersal and vicariance in creating complex patterns of geographical distribution. However, the historical biogeography of taxa with good dispersal abilities, like birds or flying insects, still remains largely unknown because of the lack of complete phylogenies accompanied by robust estimates of divergence times. In this study, we investigate the evolution and historical biogeography of the globally distributed pest genus Spodoptera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) using complete taxon sampling and an extensive set of analyses. Through the analysis of a combined morphological and molecular dataset, we provide the first robust phylogenetic framework for this widespread and economically important group of moths. Historical biogeography approaches indicate that dispersal events have been the driving force in the biogeographic history of the group. One of the most interesting findings of this study is the probable occurrence of two symmetric long-distance dispersal events between the Afrotropical and the Neotropical region, which appear to have occurred in the late Miocene. Even more remarkably, our dated phylogenies reveal that the diversification of the clade that includes specialist grass feeders has followed closely the expansion of grasslands in the Miocene, similar to the adaptive radiation of specialist grazing mammals during the same period. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Moyal P.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Le Ru B.,Unite de Recherche IRD 072 | Conlong D.,South African Sugarcane Research Institute | Conlong D.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | And 5 more authors.
Bulletin of Entomological Research | Year: 2010

Currently, the systematics of the African noctuid stem borers of the subtribe Sesamiina, which include major pests of cereals, is confused. In addition, their ecology is poorly known, as are the factors influencing their evolution. In this paper, we address these shortcomings for two genera of the Sesamiina, Sciomesa Tams & Bowden and Carelis Bowden. Mixed Bayesian phylogenetic analysis, which included their host plants and two mitochondrial genes, showed the genus Sciomesa to be polyphyletic. Two new genera were created, Pirateolea and Feraxinia. The genus Carelis proved to be paraphyletic and was subdivided into two sub-genera. The genera Sciomesa, Carelis and Pirateolea (named the 'Sciomesa genus group') share morphological traits, and the phylogenetic analysis showed that they had a common ancestor living on Cyperaceae and that they were distant from the genus Feraxinia belonging to another clade which had an ancestor living on Poaceae. Seven new species were described: Sciomesa gnosia sp. n., Sciomesia bua sp. n., Pirateolea nola gen. n, sp. n., Feraxinia serena gen. n., sp. n., Carelis australis sp. n., Carelis transversa sp. n. and Carelis agnae sp. n. Ten species were sunk as synonyms: Sciomesa mesoscia (Hampson) syn. n., Sciomesa mirifica Laporte syn. n., Sciomesa constantini Laporte syn. n. and Sciomesa etchecopari Laporte syn. n. are synonyms of Sciomesa mesophaea (Aurivillius); Acrapex sparsipucta Laporte syn. n. is a synonym of Sciomesa excelsa (Laporte) comb. n.; Acrapex congitae Laporte syn. n., Sesamia minuta Laporte syn. n. and Sesamia minuscula Laporte syn. n. are synonyms of Sciomesa boulardi (Laporte) comb. n.; Acrapex bryae Laporte syn. n. and Acrapex fayei Laporte syn. n. are synonyms of Feraxinia jemjemensis (Laporte) comb. n. Eleven new combinations were created: Sciomesa excelsa (Laporte) comb. n., Sciomesa boulardi (Laporte) comb. n., Sciomesa punctipennis (Krüger) comb. n., Pirateolea piscator (Fletcher) comb. n., Pirateolea argocyma (Fletcher) comb. n., Pirateolea cyclophora (Fletcher) comb. n., Pirateolea ochroneura (Fletcher) comb. n., Pirateolea funebris (Krüger) comb. n., Feraxinia nyei (Fletcher) comb. n., Feraxinia jemjemensis (Laporte) comb. n. and Carelis biluma (Nye) comb. n. Copyright © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

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