Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2001 Mar;18(3):348-61.

Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the dragonfly genera Libellula, Ladona, and Plathemis (Odonata: Libellulidae) based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and 16S rRNA sequence data.

Author information

Department of Biology, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, 01610-1477, USA.


Molecular phylogenetic relationships among members of the odonate genus Libellula (Odonata: Anisoptera: Libellulidae) were examined using 735 bp of mitochondrial COI and 416 bp of 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences. Considerable debate exists over several relationships within Libellula, as well over the status of two putative genera often placed as subgenera within Libellula: Ladona and Plathemis. Parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses of the separate and combined data sets indicate that Plathemis is basal and monophyletic and that Ladona is the sister clade to the remainder of Libellula sensu stricto (s.s.) (all species within the genus Libellula, excluding Plathemis and Ladona). Moreover, two European taxa, Libellula fulva and L. depressa, were found to occupy a sister group relationship within the Ladona clade. Relationships within Libellula s.s. are less well resolved. However, monophyletic lineages within the genus are largely consistent with morphologically based subgeneric classifications. Although tree topologies from each analysis differed in some details, the differences were in no case statistically significant. The analysis of the combined COI and 16S data yielded trees with overall stronger support than analyses of either gene alone. Several analyses failed to support the monophyly of Libellula sensu lato due to the inclusion of one or more outgroup species. However, statistical comparisons of topologies produced by unconstrained analyses and analyses in which the monophyly of Libellula was constrained indicate that any differences are nonsignificant. Based on morphological data, we therefore reject the paraphyly of Libellula and accept the outgroup status of Orthemis ferruginea and Pachydiplax longipennis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center