Ant crickets (Myrmecophilidae, Orthoptera) are typical ant guests. Although ten species (all belonging to genus Myrmecophilus) have recently been described from Japan, their phylogeny and the extent of host specificity are not known. Here, we reconstruct mtDNA phylogeny of 48 individuals from six species to examine their host specificity, habitat use, and congruence of mtDNA lineages with the morphological species. The cytb phylogeny reveals seven well-supported lineages that in part do not corroborate morphological taxonomy. M. kubotai was split into two distinct mtDNA lineages which differ in their host specificity: one (lineage F) mainly parasitizes Tetramorium tsushimae (Myrmicinae) and the other (lineage E) parasitizes several species of Formicine ants. Five out of the seven Myrmecophilus lineages did not have significant host-specificity, although lineages C and the above mentioned F both preferably parasitized T. tsushimae. Preference for light environment was significant for three cricket lineages. Although ant crickets are not diverse in their morphology, these results demonstrate that they have diversified in host specificity and habitat use.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science