Entomology, Department of



John E. Foster

Date of this Version



Published in Insect Molecular Biology 10(4), pp. 303–314.


Copyright © 2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. Used by permission.


The phylogenetic relationships of thirteen Diabrotica (representing virgifera and fucata species groups) and two outgroup Acalymma beetle species (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) were inferred from the phylogenetic analysis of a combined data set of 1323 bp of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) and the entire second internal transcribed spacer region (ITS-2) of nuclear ribosomal DNA of 362 characters. Species investigated were D. adelpha, D. balteata, D. barberi, D. cristata, D. lemniscata, D. longicornis, D. porracea, D. speciosa, D. undecimpunctata howardi, D. u. undecimpunctata, D. virgifera virgifera, D. v. zeae, D. viridula, and outgroup A. blandulum and A. vittatum. Maximum parsimony (MP), minimum evolution (ME), and maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of combined COI and ITS-2 sequences clearly place species into their traditional morphological species groups with MP and ME analyses resulting in identical topologies. Results generally confer with a prior work based on allozyme data, but within the virgifera species group, D. barberi and D. longicornis strongly resolve as sister taxa as well as monophyletic with the neotropical species, D. viridula, D. cristata and D. lemniscata also resolve as sister taxa. Both relationships are not in congruence with the prior allozyme-based hypothesis. Within the fucata species group, D. speciosa and D. balteata resolve as sister taxa. Results also strongly supported the D. virgifera and D. undecimpunctata subspecies complexes. Our proposed phylogeny provides some insight into current hypotheses regarding distribution status and evolution of various life history traits for Diabrotica.