Flightless Disphaerona rediscovered in China: mtDNA phylogeography of the Yunnan clade and the sobering state of fungus weevil phylogenetics (Coleoptera: Anthribidae)


  • Vasily V. Grebennikov CFIA, c/o Canadian National Collection (CNC) of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Ottawa, ON




Disphaerona, CO1, DNA barcode, phylogeography, weevils


This paper reports discovery of the genus Disphaerona Jordan, 1902 in two widely separated regions in China: in three isolated highlands in Yunnan (the Cang Shan Range, Mt. Jizu and Mt. Haba) and in the Dabie Mountains of Hubei, at the border with Anhui. Till present the genus was known from China only from four specimens of D. chinensis (including its holotype) described from Sichuan in 1995. Sixteen specimens from each of the three newly detected localities in Yunnan were DNA barcoded and the data were made publicly available at dx.doi.org/10.5883/DS-DISPHAE. Temporal phylogenetic analysis revealed a topology suggesting monophyly and recent (0.2–0.4 Ma) origin of the populations on both Mt. Jizu and Mt. Haba. The population on the Cang Shan Range harbours representatives of both clades forming the ingroup, mtDNA of which diverged some 7.9 Ma. The habitus of the holotype of the only nominative Chinese Disphaerona species, D. chinensis, is illustrated, together with habitus and male and female genitalia of specimens newly discovered in both Yunnan and Hubei. All specimens of Disphaerona from Yunnan are seemingly conspecific and are taxonomically assigned to D. chinensis. Two similar males and one sympatric but dissimilar, smaller female from the Dabie Mountains do not have associated DNA barcode data. It remains unknown whether the three Dabie Mountains specimens are conspecific or even congeneric; pending this uncertainty they are tentatively treated as Disphaerona without a Linnaean name. Disphaerona population in the Dabie Mountains, if indeed a member of this hypothesised clade, forms the easternmost record of the genus. Monophyly and sister group of Disphaerona are briefly discussed and both are shown as unknown and unverifiable. A brief overview of the state of phylogenetic knowledge of Anthribidae is given, which is practically non-existing and with neither the family, nor any of its tribes and the vast majority of genera tested as monophyletic.


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How to Cite

Grebennikov, V. V. (2016) “Flightless Disphaerona rediscovered in China: mtDNA phylogeography of the Yunnan clade and the sobering state of fungus weevil phylogenetics (Coleoptera: Anthribidae)”, Fragmenta entomologica, 48(2), pp. 89–99. doi: 10.13133/2284-4880/174.



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