Phylogeny of the suborder Psocomorpha: Congruence and incongruence between morphology and molecular data (Insecta: Psocodea: 'Psocoptera')

Kazunori Yoshizawa, Kevin P. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The largest suborder of bark lice (Insecta: Psocodea: 'Psocoptera') is Psocomorpha, which includes over 3600 described species. We estimated the phylogeny of this major group with family-level taxon sampling using multiple gene markers, including both nuclear and mitochondrial ribosomal RNA and protein-coding genes. Monophyly of the suborder was strongly supported, and monophyly of three of four previously recognized infraorders (Caeciliusetae, Epipsocetae, and Psocetae) was also strongly supported. In contrast, monophyly of the infraorder Homilopsocidea was not supported. Based on the phylogeny, we divided Homilopsocidea into three independent infraorders: Archipsocetae, Philotarsetae, and Homilopsocidea. Except for a few cases, previously recognized families were recovered as monophyletic. To establish a classification more congruent with the phylogeny, we synonymized the families Bryopsocidae (with Zelandopsocinae of Pseudocaeciliidae), Calopsocidae (with Pseudocaeciliidae), and Neurostigmatidae (with Epipsocidae). Monophyly of Elipsocidae, Lachesillidae, and Mesopsocidae was not supported, but the monophyly of these families could not be rejected statistically, so they are tentatively maintained as valid families. The molecular tree was compared with a morphological phylogeny estimated previously. Sources of congruence and incongruence exist and the utility of the morphological data for phylogenetic estimation is evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-731
Number of pages16
JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Archipsocetae
  • Bryopsocidae
  • Calopsocidae
  • Higher level classification
  • Infraorder
  • Neurostigmatidae
  • Philotarsetae
  • Synonym

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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