Rhapsody in emerald: phylogenetic framework for Lestidae with reference to the systematic position of Chalcolestes Kennedy


We reconstruct a phylogenetic framework for the zygopteran family Lestidae based on a molecular dataset comprised of sequence data from the genes COI, 16S, 18S, 28S, and ITS1+2 from 41 ingroup taxa and 8 outgroup taxa with emphasis on the systematic position of the genus Chalcolestes Kennedy. We recover Lestidae as monophyletic with good statistical support. The family falls into two subequal clades. One, comprising the genus Sympecma Burmeister and Lestes Leach sensu lato (including the genus Archilestes Selys) is poorly to moderately supported. While the other, comprising the genera Austrolestes Tillyard, Indolestes Fraser, Orolestes McLachlan, and Chalcolestes is strongly supported. Chalcolestes is recovered as sister to the Oriental genus Orolestes with strong support. Our results thus support that Chalcolestes is a valid genus not closely related to Lestes. Monophyly of Lestes requires inclusion of the New World genus Archilestes, and our results support the need for a thorough revision of Lestes.

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