A phylogenetic perspective on larval spine morphology in Leucorrhinia (Odonata: Libellulidae) based on ITS1, 5.8S, and ITS2 rDNA sequences

Rasmus Hovmöller*, and Frank Johansson†
* Department of Entomology, Swedish Museum of Natural History and Department of Zoology, Stockholm University,
P.O. Box 500 07, 10405 Stockholm, Sweden

† Animal Ecology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umea University, SE 90187 Umea, Sweden

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 30 (2004) 653-662


Leucorrhinia (Odonata, Anisoptera, Libellulidae) consists of 14–15 species with a holarctic distribution. We have combined the
morphological characters of a previous study with sequence data from the ITS1, 5.8S rDNA, and ITS2 regions of the nuclear
ribosomal repeat. Cloning was used to investigate the intra-individual variation and such variation was found in all investigated
species. Parsimony jackknifing was used to identify supported groups. The effect of sequence alignment and gap coding was explored by a modified sensitivity analysis. Loss of spines in Leucorrhinia larvae has occurred twice: once in Europe and once in North America. The role of spines as a defence against predation is discussed in a phylogenetic context.

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