FLORES Gustavo Ernesto
congresos y reuniones científicas
Preliminary studies about the genetics and phylogenetics patterns of the darkling beetles (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae) from Atacama Desert
ZÚÑIGA-REINOSO, A., L. REGIONERI, M. BLÄSER, J. OLY, G.E. FLORES AND R. PREDEL
Simposio; V International Tenebrionoidea Symposium; 2018
Darkling beetles belong to the most conspicuous biotic components in arid ecosystems worldwide. In the Atacama Desert, where free-living microbial decomposers are barely detectable, euryphagous tenebrionids are likely responsible for most of the nutrient cycling. The tenebrionids are adapted to the arid zones, presenting unique morphological features and they are very diverse in the deserts. Darkling beetles from the Atacama present numerous endemic genera and species. The many dry-wet phases have probably fragmented the suitable habitats and could have caused distinct diversification of this group. Thus, these animals are fascinating objects to study speciation events and population diversity. Faunistic and taxonomic studies of recent date on tenebrionids from this desert are based mainly on morphological characters and comprehensive studies on the genetic diversity of these organisms do not exist. For this reason, we initiated molecular phylogenetic and neuropeptide mass fingerprinting studies to unravel the systematic position and genetic diversity patterns of the tenebrionids from the Chilean Atacama Desert. We obtained preliminary and partially controversial results about the systematic position of subfamilies and tribes of tenebrionids. Finally, we report interesting taxonomic findings including a new species and a new genus of Tenebrionidae.