Phylogeny of the treehoppers (Insecta: Hemiptera: Membracidae): Evidence from two nuclear genes

Jason R. Cryan, Brian M. Wiegmann, Lewis L. Deitz, Christopher H. Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a molecular systematic investigation of relationships among family-group taxa of Membracidae, comprising nearly 3.5 kb of nucleotide sequence data from the nuclear genes elongation factor-1α (EF-1α: 958 bp) and 28S ribosomal DNA (28S rDNA: 2363 bp); data partitions are analyzed separately and in combination for 79 taxa. Analysis of the combined sequence data provided a better-resolved and more robust hypothesis of membracid phylogeny than did separate analyses of the individual genes. Results support the monophyly of the family Membracidae and indicate the presence of two major lineages (Centrotinae + Stegaspidinae + Centrodontinae and Darninae + Membracinae + Smiliinae). Within Membracidae, molecular data support the following assertions: (1) the previously unplaced genera Antillotolania and Deiroderes form a monophyletic group with Microcentrini; (2) Centrodontini and Nessorhinini are monophyletic clades that arise independently from within the Centrotinae; (3) Centrotinae is paraphyletic with respect to Centrodontinae; (4) the subfamily Membracinae is monophyletic and possibly allied with the darnine tribe Cymbomorphini; (5) the subfamily Darninae is paraphyletic; (6) the subfamily Smiliinae is paraphyletic, with molecular evidence indicating the exclusion of Micrutalini and perhaps Acutalini and Ceresini; and (7) Membracidae arose and diversified in the New World with multiple subsequent colonizations of the Old World. Our phylogenetic results suggest that morphology-based classifications of the Membracidae need to be reevaluated in light of emerging molecular evidence. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-334
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • 28S ribosomal DNA
  • Biogeography
  • Combined data analysis
  • Elongation factor-1α
  • Membracidae
  • Membracoidea
  • Molecular phylogenetics
  • Treehoppers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Phylogeny of the treehoppers (Insecta: Hemiptera: Membracidae): Evidence from two nuclear genes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this