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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2010 Oct;57(1):84-100. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.05.023. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Phylogeny of the tribe Athetini (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data.

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Department of Research and Collections, National Centre of Biosystematics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


The Athetini are the largest and taxonomically most challenging tribe in the subfamily Aleocharinae. We present the first molecular phylogeny of Athetini. Nucleotide sequences were obtained from three genome regions for 58 athetine and 23 non-athetine species. The sequenced genes are cytochrome oxidase subunits 1 and 2 (2030bp), tRNA-Leucine 1 and 2 (154bp), 16S (628bp, partial sequence), NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (54bp, partial sequence), and the nuclear 18S gene (999bp, partial sequence). The Athetini were recovered as paraphyletic with respect to Lomechusini and Ecitocharini. Lomechusini were recovered as polyphyletic, with Myrmedonota grouping separately from Pella and Drusilla. The basal topology of Athetini remained largely unresolved but many apical clades were well supported, e.g. Geostiba+Earota, Pontomalota+Tarphiota, Mocyta+Atheta (Oxypodera)+Atheta (Mycetota), Liogluta+Atheta (Thinobaena)+Atheta (Oreostiba), and Lyprocorrhe+Atheta (Datomicra). The monophyly of Atheta was refuted, as several species of Atheta formed well supported clades with members of other genera. Additionally, the following groups were rejected: Strigotina (=Acrotonina) and Dimetrotina sensu Newton et al. (2000), Acrotona sensu Brundin (1952), Liogluta series (Yosii and Sawada, 1976), Atheta (Dimetrota) and Atheta (Alaobia) sensu Smetana (2004). New tribal placements are proposed for four genera: Halobrecta is removed from Athetini and provisionally placed in Oxypodini; Thendelecrotona is removed from Athetini and treated as Aleocharinae incertae sedis; Meronera and Thamiaraea are included in the Athetini.

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