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Type: Article
Published: 2021-08-31
Page range: 353–359
Abstract views: 348
PDF downloaded: 12

On subfamily structure of the Cupedidae (Coleoptera, Archostemata): data from paleontology and an approach to solving conflicting classifications

Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya emb., 1, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia
Cupedinae Ommatinae paleontological method principle of triple parallelism principle of multiple (multidimensional) parallelism Coleoptera Archostemata


This paper demonstrates some of main differences between the systematic constructions based mostly on paleontological research and constructions involving the other approaches. Some reasons for these differences are discussed, together with an approach to solve contradictions between the conflicting hypotheses. The multiple (multidimensional) parallelism gives a possibility to solve many problems of phylogenetic interrelations due to reconstructions based on coincidence of patterns of changes (series of interconnected facts) traced in different aspects of evolutionary processes. This principle originates in the ideas by Jean Agassiz and Ernst Haeckel defined as the principle of triple parallelism. Other aspects of the evolution can be added to the morphology, embryology, and paleontology, initially included in this method. The molecular method is one of such aspects. It is shown that the potential resolution of the morphological and molecular approaches in some cases could be rather restricted, particularly applying ancient groups with main evolutionary transformations passed far in the past. The infraorder Cupediformia and suborder Archostemata in general are examples of such cases. It is advisable in the current research period that has followed the previous interpretation of the systematic structure of the family Cupedidae recognizing three subfamilies with not quite distinct hiatus between them (Cupedinae, Ommatinae and Triadocupedinae). Some recent morphological and molecular approaches proposed to divide the Cupedidae into two separate families on the basis of incomplete information accessible after study of only modern representatives, as most events in the family evolution occurred during the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic, and these events are scarcely possible to trace without considering fossils. As the principle of multiple parallelism cannot be currently used for archostematans to the full extent of its power, it is necessary to choose the paleontological method of phylogenetic reconstruction as crucial. This approach is preferable for groups that are well-documented through very diverse fossils, and for which only few of its remnants of the past diversity reached the modern epoque.


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