The subfamily Centrotinae (Hemiptera: Membracidae) is a plesiomorphic group of membracid treehoppers comprising over half the known genera and includes the most diverse component of the endemic Caribbean treehopper fauna. A previously published morphology-based phylogeny suggested that the Caribbean fauna originated from two independent colonizations but recent discovery of some morphologically enigmatic taxa has cast doubt on this hypothesis. Phylogenetic analyses of 91 morphological characters, nuclear ribosomal 28S and protein-coding Histone 3 (H3) gene fragments were performed to test the monophyly of the tribe Monobelini, one of two centrotine tribes endemic to the Caribbean Islands. Results from Bayesian analysis of the combined dataset provide high support for a single colonization of the Greater Antilles by a Mesoamerican ancestor to Nessorhinini, Brachycentrotus and Monobeloides (Monobelini) and moderate support of a monophyletic clade comprising both tribes. Marshallella, Callicentrus, Monobelus, Orthobelus, Paradarnoides, and Monobeloides variably require revisionary attention as numerous misplaced and undescribed species exist. Several important relationships received low node support or were polytomous, suggesting that data from additional gene regions, morphological characters, and taxa are needed to produce a phylogenetic tree necessary for understanding the complex biogeographical history of Caribbean centrotines.
|Title of host publication
|Published - 2015