Testing the Taxonomy of Amphidorini Leconte (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae): A Molecular Phylogeny Leveraging Museum Sequencing

M. Andrew Johnston, Aaron D. Smith, Kojun Kanda, Marcin J. Kamiński, Priscila Naverette, Lucio A. Sanchez, Rolf L. Aalbu, Kelly B. Miller, Quentin D. Wheeler, Nico M. Franz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The tribe Amphidorini LeConte, 1862, commonly known as the Desert Stink Beetles, is a species-rich group of flightless darkling beetles in the subfamily Blaptinae Leach, 1815 distributed throughout the Western Hemisphere and contains 252 valid species-group taxa within seven genera. In this study we provide molecular phylogenetic analyses based on seven loci to assess both the tribal monophyly and composition of Amphidorini as well as the genus and species-group relationships within the tribe. We find strong support for the exclusion of the South American genus Nycterinus Eschscholtz, 1829 from the rest of the otherwise North American tribe. Nycterinus is recovered in a distantly related clade comprising several Western Hemisphere tribes of Tenebrioninae Latrielle, 1802 and is placed as incertae sedis within that subfamily. Within the remaining 23 genera and subgenera within Amphidorini, 11 were recovered as distinct lineages. The composition and relationships of genera and subgenera of the large genus Eleodes Eschscholtz, 1829 are discussed along with the need for an overhaul in genus-group classification which will likely require the elevation to genus of many current constituent lineages of Eleodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-68
Number of pages20
JournalAnnales Zoologici
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Desert Stink Beetles
  • Eleodes
  • False Wire Worms
  • Museomics
  • Nycterinus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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