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Revised systematics and biogeography of 'Quediina' of sub-Saharan Africa: new phylogenetic insights into the rove beetle tribe Staphylinini (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:A. Solodovnikov, Schomann A.
Pagination:443 - -466
Date Published:2009

Quediina, a mega-diverse conventional subtribe of the rove beetle tribe Staphylinini, is remarkably species rich in the north and south temperate regions of the world. Tropical faunas of this group, and the fauna of the entire Afrotropical biogeographical region (= Ethiopian region, = sub-Saharan Africa), in contrast, are remarkably poor. The taxonomic study of the quediine genera of Staphylinini from the Afrotropical region reveals misidentifications for many of them. Their phylogenetic study demonstrates polyphyly of Quediina and reveals a new evolutionary pattern for the entire tribe Staphylinini. In particular, the formerly quediine genera Euristus Fauvel, 1899, Ioma Blackwelder, 1952, Natalignathus Solodovnikov, 2005, all endemic in the Afrotropical region, belong to the non-related 'Staphylinina', 'Philonthina propria' and 'Tanygnathinina sensu novo' lineages of Staphylinini, respectively. Contrary to earlier records, the genus Quedius Stephens, 1929 does not occur in Africa south of Sahara: Quedius angularis Cameron, 1948 and Quedius cinctipennis Cameron, 1951 are moved to the genus Philonthus Stephens, 1829. The same is established for the Asian genus Algon Sharp, 1874, formerly for a long time associated with Quediina: African species Algon robustus Wendeler, 1928 is moved to the genus Moeocerus Fauvel, 1899 (here in the 'Philonthina propria' lineage); and the misidentification of Algon africanus Bernhauer, 1915, a species that probably belongs to a new genus, is discussed. The phylogenetic affiliation of Afroquedius Solodovnikov, 2006, a South African endemic, is still ambiguous. Overall, the formerly seen bipolar distribution pattern for the 'Quediina' is demonstrated to be an artefact, not a reality to explain. Historical biogeographical explanations are proposed for some of the Afrotropical endemics, partly as an attempt to apply biogeography as an external criterion for the evaluation of the new phylogenetic pattern revealed for Staphylinini. The monotypic genera Euristus and Ioma, as well as Heterothops megalops Cameron, 1959, the only representative of this widespread genus in the Afrotropical region, are redescribed. Limits and synapomorphies of the genus Heterothops are discussed. The following new combinations and new names are proposed: Philonthus cinctipennis (Cameron, 1951) comb.n. (preoccupied by Philonthus cinctipennis Fauvel, 1875), here replaced by Philonthus pseudoquedius Solodovnikov nom.n.; Philonthus angularis (Cameron, 1948) comb.n.; Moeocerus robustus (Wendeler, 1928) comb.n. [preoccupied by Moeocerus robustus (Gestro, 1881)], here replaced by Moeocerus wendeleri Solodovnikov nom.n. A lectotype is designated for Heterothops megalops Cameron, 1959.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith