Recent progress in the taxonomy of flat bark beetles (Cucujidae), specifically, in the genus Cucujus, has revealed great diversity in subtropical Asia, but the seemingly well-known temperate and boreal taxa need further attention because of their conservation status. Here, we used an integrative approach using morphology, DNA, and species distribution modelling to disentangle phylogenetic relations, verify the number of species, and un- derstand the historical biogeography of Palearctic and Nearctic Cucujus beetles, particularly the C. haematodes species group. Species distinctiveness was supported for C. cinnaberinus, but present-day C. haematodes turned out to be a species complex made up of separate lineages in the western, middle and eastern parts of its Palearctic range. Cucujus muelleri was a member of that complex, being sister to Asian C. haematodes. Moreover, C. haematodes caucasicus was found to be phylogenetically closely related to Italian C. tulliae, and both to be sister to European C. haematodes. North American C. clavipes clavipes and C. c. puniceus resulted to be enough divergent to be considered different species. Interestingly, western American C. puniceus turned out to be closely related to the C. haematodes complex, whereas eastern American C. clavipes constituted a separate lineage, being distantly related to both C. puniceus and C. cinnaberinus. These patterns suggest former trans-continental connections among the ancestors of extant flat bark beetle species. Moreover, a divergent lineage of C. cinnaberinus was found in Calabria, which should be regarded at the very least as a subspecies. The ancestor of C. hameatodes group originated in mid-Miocene, and next, ca. 6.2 Mya, a line leading to C. cinnaberinus had split. Speciation of the American lineages occurred during Pliocene (4.4 Mya for C. clavipes and 3.3 Mya for C. puniceus). Species classified as C. haematodes, C. tulliae and C. muelleri, as well as distinct lineages within C. cinnaberinus split during mid Pleistocene (ca. 1.5 Mya). A comparison of species climatic requirements and their present distribution allowed to identify glacial refugia in south-eastern areas of North America (C. clavipes), south-western areas of North America (C. puniceus), and the Mediterranean and Caspian Sea Basins (European Cucujus species), or south- eastern areas of Asia and the foothills of the central Asian mountains (eastern C. haematodes). Subsequent cli- matic changes in the Holocene forced these beetles to move their ranges northwards along the coasts of the Pacific (C. puniceus) or Atlantic (C. clavipes), north-eastwards to central, northern, and eastern Europe (C. cinnaberinus and European C. haematodes) or Siberia (Asian C. haematodes). The combined use of molecular, morphological and climatic data allows a comprehensive understanding of the phylogenetic relations and past distributions of Cucujus beetles, highlighting the complexity of C. haematodes species group evolution.

Disentangling phylogenetic relations and biogeographic history within the Cucujus haematodes species group (Coleoptera: Cucujidae)

Teresa Bonacci;Pietro Brandmayr;
2022

Abstract

Recent progress in the taxonomy of flat bark beetles (Cucujidae), specifically, in the genus Cucujus, has revealed great diversity in subtropical Asia, but the seemingly well-known temperate and boreal taxa need further attention because of their conservation status. Here, we used an integrative approach using morphology, DNA, and species distribution modelling to disentangle phylogenetic relations, verify the number of species, and un- derstand the historical biogeography of Palearctic and Nearctic Cucujus beetles, particularly the C. haematodes species group. Species distinctiveness was supported for C. cinnaberinus, but present-day C. haematodes turned out to be a species complex made up of separate lineages in the western, middle and eastern parts of its Palearctic range. Cucujus muelleri was a member of that complex, being sister to Asian C. haematodes. Moreover, C. haematodes caucasicus was found to be phylogenetically closely related to Italian C. tulliae, and both to be sister to European C. haematodes. North American C. clavipes clavipes and C. c. puniceus resulted to be enough divergent to be considered different species. Interestingly, western American C. puniceus turned out to be closely related to the C. haematodes complex, whereas eastern American C. clavipes constituted a separate lineage, being distantly related to both C. puniceus and C. cinnaberinus. These patterns suggest former trans-continental connections among the ancestors of extant flat bark beetle species. Moreover, a divergent lineage of C. cinnaberinus was found in Calabria, which should be regarded at the very least as a subspecies. The ancestor of C. hameatodes group originated in mid-Miocene, and next, ca. 6.2 Mya, a line leading to C. cinnaberinus had split. Speciation of the American lineages occurred during Pliocene (4.4 Mya for C. clavipes and 3.3 Mya for C. puniceus). Species classified as C. haematodes, C. tulliae and C. muelleri, as well as distinct lineages within C. cinnaberinus split during mid Pleistocene (ca. 1.5 Mya). A comparison of species climatic requirements and their present distribution allowed to identify glacial refugia in south-eastern areas of North America (C. clavipes), south-western areas of North America (C. puniceus), and the Mediterranean and Caspian Sea Basins (European Cucujus species), or south- eastern areas of Asia and the foothills of the central Asian mountains (eastern C. haematodes). Subsequent cli- matic changes in the Holocene forced these beetles to move their ranges northwards along the coasts of the Pacific (C. puniceus) or Atlantic (C. clavipes), north-eastwards to central, northern, and eastern Europe (C. cinnaberinus and European C. haematodes) or Siberia (Asian C. haematodes). The combined use of molecular, morphological and climatic data allows a comprehensive understanding of the phylogenetic relations and past distributions of Cucujus beetles, highlighting the complexity of C. haematodes species group evolution.
Saproxylic beetles, Phylogeny, Distribution modelling, Integrative taxonomy, Refugium, Threatened species
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/334141
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