Evolutionary Discontinuity of the Carabine Ground Beetles

Journal of Molecular Evolution (Impact Factor: 2.15). 01/2001; 53(4):517-529. DOI: 10.1007/s002390010242
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Carabine ground beetles are mostly hind wing-less and cannot fly, so that there is more chance of diversification by
geographic isolation compared with winged insects. The relationships between morphological diversification and phylogeny of
the ground beetles of the world have been inferred mainly by comparisons of mitochondrial ND5 gene sequences. Based on dating
by a mitochondrial DNA ``clock,'' it has been deduced that an explosive radiation of the major carabine groups took place
50–40 MYA. This was followed by occasional radiations on various scales, sometimes accompanied by parallel morphological changes.
There are also a good number of examples showing that the fundamental morphology has remained unchanged for a long time among
geographically isolated populations within the same species. Thus, carabid evolution would have proceeded discontinuously,
with phases of rapid morphological change alternating with silent phases.

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