Mud crickets (Orthoptera: Ripipterygidae): phylogenetic relationships of genera and Ripipteryx species groups based on morphology

Nathalie Baena-Bejarano, Carlos Sarmiento, Sam W. Heads

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The mud crickets are insects with neotropical distribution that includes the genera Mirhipipteryx and Ripipteryx; the former genus includes three species groups sensu Günther, the later five sensu Heads. The monophyly of these species groups and the genera have not been tested. The aim of the present study is to provide a phylogenetic hypothesis of Ripipterygidae, to test the monophyly of the genera and species groups of Ripipteryx and to identify the informative value of morphological characters. We performed a phylogenetic analysis of the family using 46 ingroup taxa, 3 outgroup taxa and 79 morphological characters. Additionally, to establish the phylogenetic value of characters, we track morphological character systems: external structure, genitalia and coloration counting the uncontroverted synapomorphies. Phylogenetic analyzes were performed on TNT, calculating strict consensus and Bremer support. We propose a new hypothesis of the phylogenetic relationships for Ripipterygidae, where the family is monophyletic; although the genus Mirhipipteryx was found as a natural group, this occurred in a paraphyly of the genus Ripipteryx and none of the species groups were found monophyletic. We concluded that all character sets have phylogenetic signals, but the external morphology characters are the ones which contribute the most. The importance of this work is to resume the study of this forgotten group, where shortcomings were evident in taxonomy, systematic and evolution. It is necessary to continue the phylogenetic studies, the delimitation of species, the distribution and evolution of characters, including the coloration that could be related to mimicry, aposematism or camouflage.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEntomology 2015
StatePublished - 2015


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