Morphological phylogenetics of Australian gall-inducing thrips and their allies: The evolution of host-plant affiliations, domicile use and social behaviour

David C. Morris, Laurence A. Mound, Michael P. Schwarz, Bernard J. Crespi

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    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A phylogeny for seventy-two species of Australian thrips in the subfamily Phlaeothripinae, based on cladistic analysis of forty morphological adult characters, is presented. We use this phylogeny to infer the evolutionary history of host-plant affiliations, gall induction and other types of domicile use, and different forms of social behaviour. Maximum parsimony analysis yielded forty-eight cladograms of length 316, and the strict consensus of these cladograms was well resolved. This phylogeny indicated that: (1) associations of thrips with their host plants tend to be evolutionarily conservative, with monophyletic groups of thrips on the host-plant genera Acacia, Casuarina and Geijera, (2) galling has evolved multiple times, on different host plants, (3) transitions in domicile use include changes between galling and living in holes or old galls, between living in glued phyllodes and living in old galls, and between leaf-feeding and galling, and (4) in three of five cases, inquiline lineages were not closely related to their host lineages and the evolution of inquilinism apparently involved a host-plant shift. However, in two cases, inquilines were very closely related to their gall-inducing hosts. Eusocial behaviour (involving soldier castes) has evolved in different lineages from those that exhibit communal behaviour (cooperation in building or defending domiciles), suggesting a lack of direct transition between the two social systems. This phylogeny serves as a framework for future molecular systematic studies, and future comparative analysis of ecology and behaviour in the Phlaeothripinae.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-299
    Number of pages11
    JournalSystematic Entomology
    Volume24
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999

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