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Systematic Entomology


A phylogenetic analysis of the order Embioptera is presented with a revised classification based on results of the analysis. Eighty-two species of Embioptera are included from all families except Paedembiidae Ross and Embonychidae Navás. Monophyly of each of the eight remaining currently recognized families is tested except Andesembiidae Ross, for which only a single species was included. Nine outgroup taxa are included from Blattaria, Grylloblattaria, Mantodea, Mantophasmatodea, Orthoptera, Phasmida and Plecoptera. Ninety-six morphological characters were analysed along with DNA sequence data from the five genes 16S rRNA, 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA, cytochrome c oxidase I and histone III. Data were analysed in combined analyses of all data using parsimony and Bayesian optimality criteria, and combined molecular data were analysed using maximum likelihood. Several major conclusions about Embioptera relationships and classification are based on interpretation of these analyses. Of eight families for which monophyly was tested, four were found to be monophyletic under each optimality criterion: Clothodidae Davis, Anisembiidae Davis, Oligotomidae Enderlein and Teratembiidae Krauss. Australembiidae Ross was not recovered as monophyletic in the likelihood analysis in which one Australembia Ross species was recovered in a position distant from other australembiids. This analysis included only molecular data and the topology was not strongly supported. Given this, and because parsimony and the Bayesian analyses recovered a strongly supported clade including all Australembiidae, we regard this family also as monophyletic. Three other families – Notoligotomidae Davis, Archembiidae Ross and Embiidae Burmeister, as historically delimited – were not found to be monophyletic under any optimality criterion. Notoligotomidae is restricted here to include only the genus Notoligotoma Davis with a new family, Ptilocerembiidae Miller and Edgerly, new family, erected to include the genus Ptilocerembia Friederichs. Archembiidae is restricted here to include only the genera Archembia Ross and Calamoclostes Enderlein. The family group name Scelembiidae Ross is resurrected from synonymy with Archembiidae (new status) to include all other genera recently placed in Archembiidae. Embiidae is not demonstrably monophyletic with species currently placed in the family resolved in three separate clades under each optimality criterion. Because taxon sampling is not extensive within this family in this analysis, no changes are made to Embiidae classification. Relationships between families delimited herein are not strongly supported under any optimality criterion with a few exceptions. Either Clothodidae Davis (parsimony) or Australembiidae Ross (Bayesian) is the sister to the remaining Embioptera taxa. The Bayesian analysis includes Australembiidae as the sister to all other Embioptera except Clothididae, suggesting that each of these taxa is a relatively plesiomorphic representatative of the order. Oligotomidae and Teratembiidae are sister groups, and Archembiidae (sensu novum), Ptilocerembiidae, Andesembiidae and Anisembiidae form a monophyletic group under each optimality criterion. Each family is discussed in reference to this analysis, diagnostic combinations and taxon compositions are provided, and a key to families of Embioptera is included.


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