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Making Mosquito Taxonomy Useful: A Stable Classification of Tribe Aedini that Balances Utility with Current Knowledge of Evolutionary Relationships.

Wilkerson RC, Linton YM, Fonseca DM, Schultz TR, Price DC, Strickman DA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We found that their phylogeny was largely weakly supported and their taxonomic rankings failed priority and other useful taxon-naming criteria.We do not challenge the phylogenetic hypotheses generated by the above-mentioned series of morphological studies.However, we reduce the ranks of the genera and subgenera of RH&K to subgenera or informal species groups, respectively, to preserve stability as new data become available.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The tribe Aedini (Family Culicidae) contains approximately one-quarter of the known species of mosquitoes, including vectors of deadly or debilitating disease agents. This tribe contains the genus Aedes, which is one of the three most familiar genera of mosquitoes. During the past decade, Aedini has been the focus of a series of extensive morphology-based phylogenetic studies published by Reinert, Harbach, and Kitching (RH&K). Those authors created 74 new, elevated or resurrected genera from what had been the single genus Aedes, almost tripling the number of genera in the entire family Culicidae. The proposed classification is based on subjective assessments of the "number and nature of the characters that support the branches" subtending particular monophyletic groups in the results of cladistic analyses of a large set of morphological characters of representative species. To gauge the stability of RH&K's generic groupings we reanalyzed their data with unweighted parsimony jackknife and maximum-parsimony analyses, with and without ordering 14 of the characters as in RH&K. We found that their phylogeny was largely weakly supported and their taxonomic rankings failed priority and other useful taxon-naming criteria. Consequently, we propose simplified aedine generic designations that 1) restore a classification system that is useful for the operational community; 2) enhance the ability of taxonomists to accurately place new species into genera; 3) maintain the progress toward a natural classification based on monophyletic groups of species; and 4) correct the current classification system that is subject to instability as new species are described and existing species more thoroughly defined. We do not challenge the phylogenetic hypotheses generated by the above-mentioned series of morphological studies. However, we reduce the ranks of the genera and subgenera of RH&K to subgenera or informal species groups, respectively, to preserve stability as new data become available.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Graph comparing number of aedine mosquito genera and subgenera from 1977 to present.
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pone.0133602.g001: Graph comparing number of aedine mosquito genera and subgenera from 1977 to present.

Mentions: In a series of papers published from 2004 through 2009 [70–73], Reinert, Harbach, and Kitching (henceforth RH&K) made many changes to the nomenclature of the tribe Aedini. The RH&K reclassifications [70–73] were based on comprehensive morphological studies of all life stages of the tribe. Their papers report many entirely new morphological observations, especially on the female genitalia. The authors were not able to examine every species in the tribe, but instead chose those species that were available to them and that they considered representative of previously established groups, usually choosing the type species from a genus or subgenus. Based on their results, RH&K identified monophyletic groups and declared new classifications that were further refined in each publication. The series of papers established 74 genera (S1 Fig, Fig 1) from what was formerly genus Aedes, essentially tripling the number of genera in the family Culicidae. Most of the decisions on classification, particularly in the 2009 paper [73], were based on quantitative cladistic analyses. These decisions were primarily anchored to an objectively defined measure of "Groups present/Contradicted" (GC) [74]. Those groups were identified by pseudo-replication, or jackknifing, using symmetric resampling in an implied-weights parsimony analysis in the computer program TNT [75]. When a grouping was supported by a GC threshold ≥ 40, it was considered cladistically significant [73]. However, the authors departed from this quantitative scheme by recognizing clades with GC<40 when the “number and nature of the characters that support the branches” were subjectively considered significant (Fig 2). RH&K did not propose diagnostic characters for the new genera, though they did assign many species in Aedini to genus or subgenus based on accepted groupings and their own analyses of characters. Exceptions were: genus Ochlerotatus, 138 species unassigned to subgenus; ‘Ochlerotatus’ (‘Finlaya’) sensu auctorum (= a name used by subsequent authors in a sense different from that established by the original author [76]), 28 species; ‘Ochlerotatus’ (‘Protomacleaya’) sensu auctorum, 39 species; and genus Stegomyia, 104 species unassigned to subgenus.


Making Mosquito Taxonomy Useful: A Stable Classification of Tribe Aedini that Balances Utility with Current Knowledge of Evolutionary Relationships.

Wilkerson RC, Linton YM, Fonseca DM, Schultz TR, Price DC, Strickman DA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Graph comparing number of aedine mosquito genera and subgenera from 1977 to present.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4520491&req=5

pone.0133602.g001: Graph comparing number of aedine mosquito genera and subgenera from 1977 to present.
Mentions: In a series of papers published from 2004 through 2009 [70–73], Reinert, Harbach, and Kitching (henceforth RH&K) made many changes to the nomenclature of the tribe Aedini. The RH&K reclassifications [70–73] were based on comprehensive morphological studies of all life stages of the tribe. Their papers report many entirely new morphological observations, especially on the female genitalia. The authors were not able to examine every species in the tribe, but instead chose those species that were available to them and that they considered representative of previously established groups, usually choosing the type species from a genus or subgenus. Based on their results, RH&K identified monophyletic groups and declared new classifications that were further refined in each publication. The series of papers established 74 genera (S1 Fig, Fig 1) from what was formerly genus Aedes, essentially tripling the number of genera in the family Culicidae. Most of the decisions on classification, particularly in the 2009 paper [73], were based on quantitative cladistic analyses. These decisions were primarily anchored to an objectively defined measure of "Groups present/Contradicted" (GC) [74]. Those groups were identified by pseudo-replication, or jackknifing, using symmetric resampling in an implied-weights parsimony analysis in the computer program TNT [75]. When a grouping was supported by a GC threshold ≥ 40, it was considered cladistically significant [73]. However, the authors departed from this quantitative scheme by recognizing clades with GC<40 when the “number and nature of the characters that support the branches” were subjectively considered significant (Fig 2). RH&K did not propose diagnostic characters for the new genera, though they did assign many species in Aedini to genus or subgenus based on accepted groupings and their own analyses of characters. Exceptions were: genus Ochlerotatus, 138 species unassigned to subgenus; ‘Ochlerotatus’ (‘Finlaya’) sensu auctorum (= a name used by subsequent authors in a sense different from that established by the original author [76]), 28 species; ‘Ochlerotatus’ (‘Protomacleaya’) sensu auctorum, 39 species; and genus Stegomyia, 104 species unassigned to subgenus.

Bottom Line: We found that their phylogeny was largely weakly supported and their taxonomic rankings failed priority and other useful taxon-naming criteria.We do not challenge the phylogenetic hypotheses generated by the above-mentioned series of morphological studies.However, we reduce the ranks of the genera and subgenera of RH&K to subgenera or informal species groups, respectively, to preserve stability as new data become available.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The tribe Aedini (Family Culicidae) contains approximately one-quarter of the known species of mosquitoes, including vectors of deadly or debilitating disease agents. This tribe contains the genus Aedes, which is one of the three most familiar genera of mosquitoes. During the past decade, Aedini has been the focus of a series of extensive morphology-based phylogenetic studies published by Reinert, Harbach, and Kitching (RH&K). Those authors created 74 new, elevated or resurrected genera from what had been the single genus Aedes, almost tripling the number of genera in the entire family Culicidae. The proposed classification is based on subjective assessments of the "number and nature of the characters that support the branches" subtending particular monophyletic groups in the results of cladistic analyses of a large set of morphological characters of representative species. To gauge the stability of RH&K's generic groupings we reanalyzed their data with unweighted parsimony jackknife and maximum-parsimony analyses, with and without ordering 14 of the characters as in RH&K. We found that their phylogeny was largely weakly supported and their taxonomic rankings failed priority and other useful taxon-naming criteria. Consequently, we propose simplified aedine generic designations that 1) restore a classification system that is useful for the operational community; 2) enhance the ability of taxonomists to accurately place new species into genera; 3) maintain the progress toward a natural classification based on monophyletic groups of species; and 4) correct the current classification system that is subject to instability as new species are described and existing species more thoroughly defined. We do not challenge the phylogenetic hypotheses generated by the above-mentioned series of morphological studies. However, we reduce the ranks of the genera and subgenera of RH&K to subgenera or informal species groups, respectively, to preserve stability as new data become available.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus