Systematic Position of the Enigmatic Psocid Family Lesneiidae (Insecta : Psocodea : Psocomorpha), With Description of Two New Species

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Abstract

The systematic placement of an enigmatic psocid family restricted to Africa, Lesneiidae, was estimated by using a multiple gene data set. The candidates for its close relatives are now classified under two different infraorders, the family Archipsocidae of the infraorder Archipsocetae or the families Elipsocidae/Mesopsocidae of the infraorder Homilopsocidea. The maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of the molecular data set strongly suggested that the Lesneiidae belongs to Homilopsocidea and forms a Glade with Elipsocidae/ Mesopsocidae/Eolachesillinae (Lachesillidae). However, the relationships among these (sub)families and Lesneiidae, including the monophyly of Elipsocidae and Mesopsocidae, were ambiguous or questionable, showing the necessity of further investigations for elucidating their relationships and validating the status of these families. Two species, L. johnsoniYoshizawa & Lienhard, n. sp. and L. testudinataYoshizawa & Lienhard, n. sp. (Psocodea: Lesneiidae), were described from South Africa. There appears to be a tight association between the reproductive biology and morphological specialization of this group.

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