Journal Article Bryophyte-Feeders in a Basal Brachyceran Lineage (Diptera: Rhagionidae: Spaniinae): Adult Oviposition Behavior and Changes in the Larval Mouthpart Morphology Accompanied with the Diet Shifts.

Imada, Yume  ,  Kato, Makoto

11 ( 11 ) 2016-11-03 , Public Library of Science
風変わりな口器は葉潜りに合わせて進化した : 植物食の新しい方法を発見. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2016-11-16.
Dipteran larval morphology exhibits overwhelming variety, affected by their diverse feeding habits and habitat use. In particular, larval mouthpart morphology is associated with feeding behavior, providing key taxonomic traits. Despite most larval Brachycera being carnivorous, a basal brachyceran family, Rhagionidae, contains bryophyte-feeding taxa with multiple feeding habits. To elucidate the life history, biology, and morphological evolution of the bryophyte-feeding rhagionids, the larval feeding behavior and morphology, and the adult oviposition behavior of four species belonging to three genera of Spaniinae (Spania Meigen, Litoleptis Chillcott and Ptiolina Zetterstedt) are described. Moreover, changes of the larval morphology associated with the evolution of bryophyte-feeding are traced by molecular phylogenetic analyses. Spania and Litoleptis (thallus-miners of thallose liverworts) share a toothed form of apical mandibular sclerite with an orifice on its dorsal surface, which contrasts to those of the other members of Rhagionidae possessing a blade-like mandibular hook with an adoral groove; whereas, Ptiolina (stem borer of mosses) exhibits a weak groove on the adoral surface of mandible and highly sclerotized maxilla with toothed projections. Based on the larval feeding behavior of the thallus-miners, it is inferred that the toothed mandibles with the dorsal orifice facilitate scraping plant tissue and then imbibing it with a great deal of the sap. A phylogeny indicated that the bryophyte-feeding genera formed a clade with Spaniopsis and was sister to Symphoromyia, which presumably are detritivores. This study indicates that the loss or reduction of adoral mandibular groove and mandibular brush is coincident with the evolution of bryophyte-feeding, and it is subsequently followed by the occurrence of dorsal mandibular orifice and the loss of creeping welts accompanying the evolution of thallus-mining.

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