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Arthropod Struct Dev. 2004 Jan;33(1):45-66.

Evolution of locomotory attachment pads in the Dermaptera (Insecta).

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Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Rosenstein 1, D-70191 Stuttgart, Germany.


This contribution is the first comparative SEM study of tarsal and pretarsal structures of 18 dermapteran species, including epizoic Hemimeridae, rare Apachyidae, as well as basal Pygidicranidae. Our data reject the apparent uniformity of this taxon and show that representatives of Dermaptera have independently evolved both types of attachment mechanisms: hairy and smooth. Dermaptera possess a wide spectrum of attachment devices: arolia, euplantulae, tarsal surfaces covered with specialised tenent setae and other types of cuticular outgrowths. The groundpattern of the pretarsal and tarsal attachment structures was reconstructed by mapping their characters onto a cladogram, generated without tarsal characters. In the groundpattern of recent Dermaptera, the tarsus consists of three tarsomeres. Presumably, the last common ancestor of the Dermaptera possessed an arolium, since this structure occurs in the most basal taxa: Diplatyidae, Karschiellidae (partim, adults), Pygidicranidae partim, and Apachyidae. The absence of arolium in two of the pygidicranid taxa is probably due to a secondary loss. The arolium seems to be reduced in the 'higher Dermaptera' and amongst them, only the Geracinae, which belong to the Spongiphoridae and, hence, to the well supported Eudermaptera [European Journal of Entomology, 98 (2001), 445], evolved this structure convergently. The character state distribution for euplantulae suggests their evolution being similar to that of the arolium. All species of Tagalina possess a specialised tarsus with a strongly dilated second tarsomere. The same applies to the Forficulidae. However, their relatively remote phylogenetic position to Tagalina burri is a convincing reason to assume convergent evolution of this character. The Chelisochidae, with a slender, elongated second tarsomere, possess a unique structure, which supports their monophyly. The special, heart shaped structure of the second tarsal segments in the Forficulidae suggests their monophyly. The attachment structures of Hemimerus vosseleri are highly derived and probably autapomorphic for this taxon.


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