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Eur. J. Entomol. 2002, 99(1): 53-66
Description of the larva of Rhipsideigma raffrayi (Coleoptera: Archostemata), with phylogenetic and functional implications
BEUTEL R.G.* & HöRNSCHEMEYER T.
Larvae of Rhipsideigma raffrayi are described in detail and those of Distocupes varians are re-examined. Their morphological structures are evaluated with respect to their functional and phylogenetic significance. Larvae of Rhipsideigma are wood-borers with a straight body and a wedge-shaped head capsule. Most of their apomorphic features are correlated with their xylobiontic habits. The strong mandibles, the sclerotized ligula and the wedge-shaped head enable the larvae to penetrate rotting wood. The broadened prothorax, prosternal asperities, tergal ampullae, the short legs, and eversible lobes of segment IX play an important role in locomotion in galleries within rotting wood. Leg muscles are weakly developed, whereas the dorsal, pleural and ventral musculature is complex. The larval features allow Rhipsideigma to be placed in the clades Archostemata, Cupedidae + Micromalthidae, Cupedidae, Cupedidae excl. Priacma, and Cupedidae excl. Priacma and Distocupes. The monophyly of Cupedidae and Cupedidae, excluding Priacma, so far is only supported by apomorphies of the adults. However, the presence of glabrous patches on the prosternum and of a medially divided field of asperities may be larval apomorphies of the family. A clade, which comprises Rhipsideigma, Tenomerga and probably other genera of Cupedidae with hitherto unknown larvae, is well supported by larval apomorphies such as the broadened prothorax, the presence of coxal asperities and the presence of a distinct lateral longitudinal bulge. Increased numbers of antennomeres and labial palpomeres are apomorphies only found in larvae of Distocupes.
AddressInstitut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, FSU Jena, 07743 Jena, Germany; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
KeywordsArchostemata, Cupedidae, Rhipsideigma, larva, description, morphology, phylogeny