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The problem with the Paleoptera problem: sense and sensitivity
Cladistics (2003)
  • T. Heath Ogden, Utah Valley University
While the monophyly of winged insects (Pterygota) is well supported, phylogenetic relationships among the most basal extant pterygote lineages are problematic. Ephemeroptera (mayflies) and Odonata (dragonflies) represent the two most basal extant lineages of winged insects, and determining their relationship with regard to Neoptera (remaining winged insects) is a critical step toward understanding insect diversification. A recent molecular analysis concluded that Paleoptera (Odonata +Ephemeroptera) is monophyletic. However, we demonstrate that this result is supported only under a narrow range of alignment parameters. We have further tested the monophyly of Paleoptera using additional sequence data from 18SrDNA, 28S rDNA, and Histone 3 for a broader selection of taxa and a wider range of analytical methodologies. Our results suggest that the current suite of molecular data ambiguously resolve the three basal winged insect lineages and do not provide independent confirmation of Odonata +Neoptera as supported via morphological data.
  • Ephemeroptera,
  • Odonata,
  • Phylogeny,
  • Insect,
  • Flight,
  • Parsimony,
  • Likelihood
Publication Date
Citation Information
T. Heath Ogden. "The problem with the Paleoptera problem: sense and sensitivity" Cladistics Vol. 19 Iss. 5 (2003)
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