[Taxacom] What will be done with paraphyletic Mecoptera?

Kenneth Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 15 14:22:09 CDT 2018


      It seems that Hinton (1958) long ago suggested:  “On the basis of larval structure, fleas could be derived from a Boreus-like ancestor with simple annular spiracles”.  And with all the more recent evidence of a strong sister-group relationship, the only question is whether to classify Family Boreidae as a separate Order Neomecoptera or as a Suborder Neomecoptera within Order Siphonaptera (which would then include both the boreid snow fleas and the true fleas).

     The more difficult matter is the relationship of Nannomecoptera (Family Nannochoristidae).  Is it sister to the Mecoptera sensu stricto (pistilliferans) or is it closer to Order Diptera?  Perhaps it would be helpful to regard it as a separate Order Nannomecoptera (as some researchers do), and then there would be little reason to regard Order Mecoptera sensu stricto (pistilliferans only) as paraphyletic.


From: Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:10 PM
To: Taxacom
Cc: Kenneth Kinman
Subject: What will done with paraphyletic Mecoptera?

      Order Mecoptera was declared paraphyletic (with respect to Siphonaptera) as early as 2002, and evidence has been piling up ever since of the sister group relationship of Family Boreidae to Order Siphonaptera. Even a similarity in their jumping mechanism has been discovered.  And yet there has been little movement in abandoning an Order Mecoptera.
       So what is likely to happen.  Will the Family Boreidae be transferred to Order Siphonaptera?  And even if so, Order Mecoptera would likely still be paraphyletic with respect to that larger Siphonaptera.  Or will Siphonaptera become part of Mecoptera?  And yet some have even suggested Order Diptera evolved from Order Mecoptera, so will Mecoptera instead be split up?

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