Paederinae is one of the most diverse groups among rove beetles, in terms of the number of species. The newest data shows that they are more than 7 700 species in 218 genera with a worldwide distribution [Newton 2022]. They are a subfamily of only predatory species living in different habitats, with the majority occurring in leaf litter, where they hunt for their prey. Typically, we can meet them in tropical and subtropical evergreen forests at different elevations, including higher mountains, sometimes near the streams, in detritus accumulated by water currents, or in decomposing organic matter. Unfortunately, the subfamily Paederinae is also among the examples of a mega-diverse group where we know very little about their phylogeny and evolution. The species-richness makes this group extremely challenging for phylogenetics, and thus they have never been a subject of broader evolutionary studies.
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Our results of Paederinae research
A brief overview of the research results on Paederinae carried out by our team members either by themselves or in collaboration. For more information, see our Publications tab.
The oldest case of paedomorphosis in rove beetles and description of a new genus of Paederinae from Cretaceous amber (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae)
The ecology of extinct species from the Cretaceous is largely unknown. Morphological features of specimens preserved in amber can help to reveal habitats and evolutionary strategies that occurred in fossil lineages. An unusually small rove beetle (Staphylinidae) from the subfamily Paederinae with a Y-shaped suture on the head and modified tarsi and antennae is newly described here as Midinudon juvenis Tokareva & Żyła gen. et sp. nov. We hypothesise that such a combination of characters represents the earliest example of paedomorphosis in Staphylinidae and discuss other possible reasons that could explain the small size and morphological modifications of the new species. We provide the results of total-evidence phylogenetic analysis and discuss the relationships of Midinudon juvenis Tokareva & Żyła gen. et sp. nov. within Paederinae.
Tokareva A., Koszela K. & Żyła D. in collaboration with: Ferreira V. S. & Yamamoto S.
#paedomorphosis #amber #taxonomy #systematics #phylogenetics
A New Termitophilous Genus of Paederinae Rove Beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) from the Neotropics
and Its Phylogenetic Position
We describe a new genus and species of Paederinae rove beetles, Ruptor cordatus gen. et sp. nov., which lives in the arboreal nests of the termite Labiotermes labralis (Holmgren, 1906) in the Amazon lowlands of Peru. The morphology of Ruptor gen. nov. is highly derived, apparently due to its close association with the termite host, and thus, morphologically, the genus cannot be classified further than Lathrobiini incertae sedis. In order to address the sister-group relationships of Ruptor gen. nov., we conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis based on seven gene fragments. The analysis indeed resolved the genus as a member of the tribe Lathrobiini and placed it nested within the informal clade of ‘Medonina and allied taxa’. We provide a morphological comparison of the new genus with all known myrmeco- and termitophilous representatives of the subfamily, and to the extent possible, we illustrate other relevant and poorly known Neotropical Paederinae inquilines.
D. Żyła in collaboration with: A. Bogri, A. K. Hansen, J. J. Shaw, J. Kypke & A. Solodovnikov
#taxonomy #systematics #phylogenetics #inquiline
Phylogenetic position of genera Acrostilicus Hubbard and Pachystilicus Casey (Staphylinidae, Paederinae)
and their redescription
Acrostilicus Hubbard, 1896 and Pachystilicus Casey, 1905 are North American genera known from only one and two species, respectively, and have never been a subject of a modern revision. In fact, Acrostilicus was not even properly described as its author provided only a sketchy diagnosis of the genus and species. Here, we provide a redescription of the genus Acrostilicus and its species and illustrate the habitus and male genital features. For the first time, we also redescribe Pachystilicus and its two species, and provide their differential diagnoses. Additionally, we tested the phylogenetic position of both genera. They were scored into a morphological matrix supplemented with molecular data and the analyses were run using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods. A total of 119 morphological characters and 4859 bp of nuclear (28S, TP, Wg, CADA, CADC, ArgK) and mitochondrial (COI) sequences were analysed for 46 taxa. The results confirmed that both Acrostilicus and Pachystilicus are members of the subtribe Stilicina, but at the same time challenged the monophyly of the subtribe in its current composition. Additionally, we provided further evidence for non-monophyly of the subtribe Medonina and discussed the biology of Acrostilicus and Pachystilicus.
D. Żyła, A. Tokareva & K. Koszela
#taxonomy #systematics #phylogenetics
Redescription of the genus Megastilicus Casey (Staphylinidae, Paederinae) with the description of a new species.
The myrmecophilous Paederinae rove beetle genus Megastilicus Casey, 1889 from North America is reviewed based on museum specimens. Prior to this study, the genus was monotypic with one species Megastilicus formicarius Casey, 1889 described. Here, we provide a redescription of the genus and the type species, designate a lectotype, and provide pictures of habitus and illustrations of the aedeagus and genital segments. Additionally, we describe a new species for the genus, Megastilicus iowaensis sp. nov., include an identification key to the two species and present the distribution map of both of them, including new state records. We discuss the assignment of the genus to the subtribe Stilicina based on morphological features.
D. Żyła & K. Koszela