characters & phylogeny

zarazaga zarazaga at CC.CSIC.ES
Thu May 5 14:12:24 CDT 1994

In general terms, I think that the internal features are more likely of
a higher taxonomic worth, where internal may mean also proximal, and
its use gives better phylogenetic relationships. At least in Apionidae
(Coleoptera), my research field, the male genitalia is of the highest
importance in limiting genera and relating them inside tribes or higher
taxa. The external features (antennae, legs, surface, vestiture, etc.)
are very similar among the species.
On the other hand, I have read somewhere that organs which are seldom used
are less prone to undergo selection. Perhaps that is why male genitalia
in Apionidae is a good general character (and female genitalia too in
level of genera of higher). They use it once in a life.
I'm interested in hearing more on this subject raised by Resia Pretorius.
Best wishes,
*    Miguel A. Alonso- Zarazaga (Dr)                       *
*    Depto. de Biodiversidad                               *
*    Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales                  *
*    Jose Gutierrez Abascal, 2                             *
*    E-28006 Madrid SPAIN                                  *
*    Tlf. +34-1-411.13.28 (ext. 1110)                      *
*    Fax  +34-1-564.50.78                                  *
*    E-mail   zarazaga at  (Internet)              *

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