[Taxacom] Order Homoptera probably not paraphyletic after all

Michael A. Ivie mivie at montana.edu
Tue Feb 24 14:17:01 CST 2015

What Doug said!

On 2/24/2015 12:53 PM, Doug Yanega wrote:
> On 2/24/15 11:12 AM, Kenneth Kinman wrote:
>> Dear All,                                 Many entomologists today regard Homoptera as paraphyletic, and therefore have dumped them in with the Heteroptera into an expanded Hemiptera sensu lato.  I never have liked this great expansion of Hemiptera to also include all the Homoptera, (and of course, it is not necessary if one considers paraphyletic taxa as natural and useful).                         In any case, a fairly recent paper (published a little over 2 years ago) was published in PLOS ONE which presents molecular evidence that Homoptera is probably holophyletic after all, and a sister group to Heteroptera.  They show that most trees actually show a holophyletic (strictly monophyletic) Homoptera, and that those few trees showing a paraphyletic Homoptera are skewed due to long branch attraction with outgroup taxa.
> Very limited evidence, based on very limited taxon sampling. Notably,
> they lack data for membracids, cicadas, scale insects, enicocephalids,
> and coleorrhynchans (!), and many of the sampled taxa are not basal in
> their respective clades. Anyone who is familiar with molecular work
> knows how dramatically tree topology changes with more exhaustive taxon
> sampling, especially when there are problems with long branches, which
> the authors point out as a problem here. The easiest way to make long
> branches go away is to include more taxa. It's not so much about the
> number of genes, really, but filling in the taxonomic gaps well (though
> it does require that the genes evolve at a rate appropriate for the
> level of analysis - ordinal-level questions require slower-evolving
> genes). I'm waiting until I see a tree with at LEAST every hemipteran
> superfamily represented, if not every family.
> Peace,


Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

Montana Entomology Collection
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Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717

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