Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0045523
Title: Evolutionary History of Assassin Bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Reduviidae): Insights from Divergence Dating and Ancestral State Reconstruction
Authors: Hwang W.S. 
Weirauch C.
Keywords: ant
article
blood feeding
cladistics
evolution
feeding behavior
foliage
fossil
Hemiptera
Isoptera
maximum likelihood method
microhabitat
Middle Jurassic
molecular phylogeny
monophyly
nonhuman
Opisthacidius
phylogeny
plesiomorphy
polyphyly
predation
Reduviidae
taxon
tree trunk
Triatominae
Upper Cretaceous
Animals
Biological Evolution
Ecosystem
Evolution, Molecular
Phylogeny
Reduviidae
Animalia
Hemiptera
Insecta
Isoptera
Reduviidae
Reduviinae
Triatominae
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: Hwang W.S., Weirauch C. (2012). Evolutionary History of Assassin Bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Reduviidae): Insights from Divergence Dating and Ancestral State Reconstruction. PLoS ONE 7 (9) : e45523. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0045523
Abstract: Assassin bugs are one of the most successful clades of predatory animals based on their species numbers (~6,800 spp.) and wide distribution in terrestrial ecosystems. Various novel prey capture strategies and remarkable prey specializations contribute to their appeal as a model to study evolutionary pathways involved in predation. Here, we reconstruct the most comprehensive reduviid phylogeny (178 taxa, 18 subfamilies) to date based on molecular data (5 markers). This phylogeny tests current hypotheses on reduviid relationships emphasizing the polyphyletic Reduviinae and the blood-feeding, disease-vectoring Triatominae, and allows us, for the first time in assassin bugs, to reconstruct ancestral states of prey associations and microhabitats. Using a fossil-calibrated molecular tree, we estimated divergence times for key events in the evolutionary history of Reduviidae. Our results indicate that the polyphyletic Reduviinae fall into 11-14 separate clades. Triatominae are paraphyletic with respect to the reduviine genus Opisthacidius in the maximum likelihood analyses; this result is in contrast to prior hypotheses that found Triatominae to be monophyletic or polyphyletic and may be due to the more comprehensive taxon and character sampling in this study. The evolution of blood-feeding may thus have occurred once or twice independently among predatory assassin bugs. All prey specialists evolved from generalist ancestors, with multiple evolutionary origins of termite and ant specializations. A bark-associated life style on tree trunks is ancestral for most of the lineages of Higher Reduviidae; living on foliage has evolved at least six times independently. Reduviidae originated in the Middle Jurassic (178 Ma), but significant lineage diversification only began in the Late Cretaceous (97 Ma). The integration of molecular phylogenetics with fossil and life history data as presented in this paper provides insights into the evolutionary history of reduviids and clears the way for in-depth evolutionary hypothesis testing in one of the most speciose clades of predators. © 2012 Hwang, Weirauch.
Source Title: PLoS ONE
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/161724
ISSN: 19326203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045523
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