Phylogenomics resolves timing and patterns in the evolution of Australasian Cerambycinae (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), and reveals new insights into the subfamily-level classification and historical biogeography of longhorn beetles


Cerambycinae is the second-largest subfamily of longhorn beetles in the Southern Hemisphere. The phylogeny of Cerambycinae is poorly known, resulting in a highly artificial tribal-level classification and a largely speculative evolutionary history. We reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships of Cerambycinae at the generic level using anchored hybrid enrichment data from hundreds of nuclear genes, with a primary focus on the extraordinarily diverse faunas of Australia and New Zealand. We also estimated divergence times by incorporating fossil calibrations in our analyses. We identified two main clades within Cerambycinae, which can also be separated morphologically by a distinct type of antennal foramen. We recovered a Late Jurassic origin of crown Cerambycinae. Dorcasominae, which was newly found to have representatives in Australia, was notably derived from within Cerambycinae. We recovered two independent origins of Australian Cerambycinae: one clade originated in the Early Cretaceous and is likely endemic to the Southern Hemisphere, while the other clade appears to have immigrated to Australia, perhaps from the Northern Hemisphere. Within the Australian lineages were multiple independent origins of New Zealand taxa, all of which are relative host-plant generalists. Tribal relationships and assignments are discussed, and based on our results, the following major nomenclatural acts were made: Dorcasominae Lacordaire, 1868 is downgraded to a tribe Dorcasomini of Cerambycinae Latreille, 1804; Neostenini Lacordaire, 1868 syn. nov. is treated as a junior synonym of Uracanthini Blanchard, 1851.

Publication Title

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution