Phylogeny of Geomydoecus and Thomomydoecus pocket gopher lice (Phthiraptera: Trichodectidae) inferred from cladistic analysis of adult and first instar morphology

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1995
Authors:R. D. M. Page, Price, R. D., Hellenthal, R. A.
Journal:Systematic Entomology
Pagination:129 - 143
Date Published:1995
Keywords:assemblages, Chewing lice, complex, cospeciation, Evolution, Geomyidae, host parasite, lice, Mallophaga, mexico, rodentia, U.S.A.

The phylogeny of all 122 species of chewing lice of the genera Geomydoecus and Thomomydoecus (Phthiraptera: Trichodectidae) hosted by pocket gophers (Rodentia: Geomyidae) is estimated by a cladistic analysis of fifty-eight morphological characters obtained from adults and first instars. The data set has considerable homoplasy, but still contains phylogenetic information. The phylogeny obtained is moderately resolved and, with some notable exceptions supports the species complexes proposed by Hellenthal and Price over the last two decades. The subgenera of G. (Thaelerius) and T. (Thomomydoecus)are both shown to be monophyletic , but the monophyly of subgenus T. (Jamespattonius) could not be confirmed, perhaps due to the lack of first instar data for one of its component species. The nominate subgenus of Geomydoecus may be monophyletic, but our cadogram was insufficiently resolved to corroberate this. Mapping the pocket gopher hosts on to the phylogeny reveals a consistant pattern of louse clades being restricted to particular genera or subgenera of gophers, but the history of the host-parasite association appears complex and will require considerable effort to resolve.

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