The phylogeny of the gall-midge subtribe Baldratiina (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) was reconstructed from molecular (partial sequence of the mitochondrial 12S rDNA), morphological and ecological data sets, using 16 representative species of most of the genera. The morphological and ecological data were combined in a single character matrix and analyzed separately from the molecular data, resulting in an eco-morphological cladogram and a molecular cladogram. Attributes of galls and host associations were superimposed on the molecular cladogram in order to detect possible trends in the evolution of these traits. The cladograms resulting from the two independent analyses were statistically incongruent, although both provide evidence for the monophyly of the genera Baldratia and Careopalpis and the paraphyly of the genera Stefaniola and Izeniola. The results suggest a minor impact of the morphological characters traditionally used in the classification of the Baldratiina, whereas ecological data had a major impact on the phylogenetic inference. Mapping of gall and host attributes on the molecular cladogram suggests that multi-chambered stem galls constitute the ancestral state in the subtribe, with several subsequent shifts to leaf galls. It is concluded that in contrast to other studied groups of gall insects, related baldratiine species induce different types of galls, attesting to speciation driven by gall-type shifts at least as often as host shifts.
- Gall structure
- Host association