TitleThe molecular systematics and diversification of a taxonomically unstable group of Asian cicada tribes related to Cicadini Latreille, 1802 (Hemiptera : Cicadidae)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHill KBR, Marshall DC, Marathe K, Moulds MS, Lee YJune, Pham T-H, Mohagan AB, Sarkar V, Price BW, Duffels J.P, Schouten MA, de Boer AJ, Kunte K, Simon C
Date Published06/2021

The cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) related to tribe Cicadini exhibit some of the most remarkable phenotypes in the family, with many genera possessing striking colour patterns and unusual morphological features. This largely Asian group of 13 tribes has proven challenging for cicada taxonomists, in part because of likely convergent evolution or losses of these phenotypes. We present the first focused molecular phylogeny of this clade, including similar to 60 described genera. The genetic dataset contains 839 ingroup-informative sites (out of 2575) from mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, nuclear elongation factor-1 alpha, and nuclear acetyltransferase. We use Bayesian and maximum likelihood trees to test recent changes in tribe- and subtribe- level classification, and we reconstruct ancestral character states for potentially convergent traits influencing tribe descriptions. We use fossil and molecular clock calibrations to estimate the temporal and geographic context of the radiation. The tribes Gaeanini, Leptopsaltriini, Platypleurini, Psithyristriini, and Tosenini appear polyphyletic and in need of revision, in part because of convergent evolution of opaque wings and multiple convergent gains or losses of abdominal tubercles. Kalabita Moulton, 1923 is transferred from Platypleurini to Leptopsaltriini. Vittagaeana gen. nov. is established for Vittagaeana paviei comb. nov. and Vittagaeana dives comb. nov., formerly in Tosena. Sinosenini syn. nov. is synonymised with Dundubiina. Ayuthiini trib. nov. is established with two new subtribes for Ayuthia Distant, 1919 and Distantalna Boulard, 2009, formerly in Tosenini. For the earliest split in the tree, one common ancestor appears to have been Indian + Asian in geographic distribution and the other Asian. We estimate that the radiation began in the middle Cenozoic Era, possibly as recently as the early Miocene. The recent and steady pattern of diversification suggests that refinement of tribe diagnoses will prove challenging.