Publication Date

Spring 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

T. Keith Philips (Director), Albert J. Meier, and Carl W. Dick

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Proposals for the internal relationships and classification of the bostrichoids are currently poorly supported, and almost all are based on morphology alone. This study improves upon on previous phylogenetic analyses of the group by including more taxa using the standard genes for many phylogenetic analyses. Cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 (CO1), 28S small subunit rRNA, and 16S small subunit rRNA mitochondrial genes were sequenced or obtained from Genbank, then analyzed using parsimony and Bayesian analyses. Topologies differed depending on genes used. A three gene tree and a two gene (28S and CO1) tree both supported relationships in which a basal bostrichid clade was sister to Ptinidae s. s. + anobiids, with another bostrichid clade within the ptinids. Current bostrichid and anobiid subfamilies tested were not supported as monophyletic in any of the trees obtained.

Additionally, five new species of spider beetles in the genus Meziomorphum Pic from South Africa are described including M. endrödyi, M. boroveci, and M. nama from the Richtersveld, M. bulla from south-central Namaqualand, and M. cederbergensis from the Cederberg. Genitalia are illustrated for the genus for the first time for six of the 10 species now known. A brief discussion of the evolution of generic morphology and biology as well as the relationships of the genus to other spider beetle groups are also provided.

Finally, a revision of the genus Eutaphroptinus is presented. Eutaphroptinus pseudonatalensis is considered a synonym of Eutaphroptinus natalensis. New species records of E. natalensis are also provided, as well as illustrations of the genus.


Biodiversity | Biology | Entomology | Evolution