A preliminary classification of the Mesozoic family Parandrexidae (Coleoptera)

Publication Type:Conference Paper
Year of Publication:2016
Authors:J. I. R. Í. KOLIBÁC
Conference Name:The 7th International Conference on Fossil Insects, Arthropods and Amber
Date Published:26/04/2016
Publisher:Siri Scientific Press
Conference Location:National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Abstract:

Two genera of the extinct beetle family Parandrexidae are known from the Jurassic of eastern Siberia and north-eastern China, as well as from the Cretaceous of Spain. The species are considered floricolous, with distinct sexual dimorphism. The systematic position of the parandrexids remains unclear: in the original description, Parandrexis Martynov, 1926 was classified within Cerambycidae, while later authors speculated upon its relationship to Boganiidae and Cleroidea, or suggested an intermediate state between basal Cucujoidea and Phytophaga. By courtesy of Huang D.-Y., the author was given the opportunity to study about 30 well preserved parandrexid fossils in the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, China. They originated from Inner Mongolia, China (Jiulongshan Formation, Middle Jurassic, approximately 165 Ma) and constitute some of the earliest known fossils of this beetle family. Apart from descriptive taxonomy, this communication constitutes a further attempt to clarify the systematic position of Parandrexidae. The original dataset (366 beetle genera, 515 morphological characters of adults and larvae) of Lawrence et al. (2011) was used, but in a considerably adapted and modified format. About 200 genera of cucujiform beetles were selected together with some 20 outgroups from other Polyphagan families. After unambiguous optimisation in WinClada 1.00.08, more than 200 morphological characters were retained. Some of these were modified and certain characters added. TNT 1.1 was used for parsimony analysis, employing traditional search strategy (or heuristic analysis). Characters were unweighted and treated as unordered; all were switched as non-additive. The majority rule consensus technique was applied. In the first step, extant taxa were analysed and the tree was rooted with a hypothetical ancestor. The character matrix was then recounted by TNT with the same parameters, together with the identified characters of parandrexids, in order to establish their approximate positions. Preliminary results of the analysis show well-defined superfamilies of Cucujiformia and, surprisingly, place Parandrexidae once more within a clade of phytophagan families.

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