Meeting Abstract

LBS3.3  Friday, Jan. 4  Diversification at the Plant/Insect Interface: The Evolutionary Radiation of Beetles (Order Coleoptera) MCKENNA, Duane D.; Harvard University

The extraordinary species diversity of modern beetles (order Coleoptera; ca. 350,000 described sp.) is usually attributed to evolutionary radiation coincident with the Cretaceous rise to dominance of flowering plants (angiosperms). However, the absence of a robust phylogeny for beetles has hampered efforts to clarify the role of the rise of angiosperms and other events in earth's history, in beetle diversification. Using molecular phylogenetic, fossil, and other data, I will present a brief synthetic view of macroevolution at the beetle/plant interface using examples from my recent and ongoing research at various taxonomic levels in the order Coleoptera, including (1) a fossil calibrated molecular phylogeny for herbivorous Neotropical leaf beetles in the genus Cephaloleia (family Chrysomelidae; leaf beetles) from which I will present evidence for Paleocene-Eocene adaptive radiation, moderately ancient lineage-specific diversification, and relatively recent Miocene-Pliocene diversification, (2) timing and tempo of weevil (superfamily Curculionoidea) diversification in deep time based on an extensively sampled and highly resolved molecular phylogeny, with age constraints from the fossil record, and, (3) evolutionary radiation (including interrelationships and temporal origins) of the four suborders of living beetles (Adephaga, Archostemata, Myxophaga, Polyphaga) based on molecular phylogenetic and other data.