The Termite Feeders: Salyavatinae +

Sphaeridopinae


 


Salyavatinae and Sphaeridopinae are thought to be specialized on termites
(Cobben 1968, 1978, McMahan 1983). Species in both groups show morphological and behavioral traits that may represent adaptations to termite feeding. The two subfamilies are well supported as a monophyletic group in the cladistic analysis based on morphological characters recently finalized in our lab (Weirauch 2008). A combined revision of the two groups therefore seems reasonable, especially because Salyavatinae appear to be paraphyletic with respect to Sphaeridopinae. Salyavatinae comprise about 100 species in 15 genera (five of them monotypic) worldwide and Sphaeridopinae are a small Neotropical group with at present 3 genera (Gil-Santana & Alencar 2001) and about 6 species. No modern revisions are published for any genus of Salyavatinae. The efforts of our lab will focus on revisions of the speciose genera Lisarda Stål (40 species) and Petalocheirus Burmeister (30 species). These revisions will be be integrated in a generic level phylogenetic framework for the entire group.