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Skeleton and musculature of the head and prothorax of ochterus marginatus contribution towards clarification of the phylogenetic relationships of the ochteridae insecta heteroptera


, : Skeleton and musculature of the head and prothorax of ochterus marginatus contribution towards clarification of the phylogenetic relationships of the ochteridae insecta heteroptera. Zoomorphologie 82(2): 109-191

The present systematic position of the family Ochteridae is uncertain. Some authors claim it belongs to the land bugs ("Gymnocerata"), others to the water bugs ("Hydrocorisae"). The skeleton and musculature of the head and prothorax of O. marginatus Latreille were investigated to clarify the systematic position. The exoskeleton of Ochterus contains mainly plesiomorphic features such as the long 4-segmented rostrum, and the significant coxal cleft of the prothorax. Apomorphic features are the structure of the clypeus, the shortening of the antennae and the flattened side-flaps of the protergum. The lack of cranial apodemes of the antennal musculature and the broadened food pump containing epipharyngeal plates are pecularities of the endoskeleton. The sacks of the maxillary plates are medio-ventrally elongated in compact lobes, which reach distally as far as the hypopharynx. The mandibular stylet and maxillary stylet possess levers. The mandibular lever is a flat and approximately triangular plate; the maxillary lever is a bent stick-shaped sclerite. Both are derived from double membranes. The musculature of the head of Ochterus diverges only insignificantly from that of other bugs. The head musculature and the mandibular and maxillary levers of the Cryptocerata are compared, and only a judgement of the conditions as found in the range of the stylets is possible considering the conditions among the Gymnocerata and the Homoptera. The musculature of the prothorax of the Gymnocerata and the Homoptera were compared with the musculature of Ochterus. The musculature of the stylets and the mandibular and maxillary levers of the bugs and of the Homoptera were compared with each other. Consequently the following features belong to the groundplan of the Heteroptera: maxillary levers, flattened and approximately triangular mandibular levers which are attached to the mandibular sack without sinew, 2 protractors of the mandibula, and 2 retractors of the mandibula. Thus, the Heteroptera are divided into 3 groups: Cryptocerata + Saldoidea; Amphibiocorisae; and Gymnocerata without Saldoidea and Amphibiocorisae. The Cryptocerata and Saldoidea are plesiomorphic in the development of the musculature of the stylets and the levers, whereas the Cryptocerata are proved to be a monophyletic group by other features. There are no common apomorphic features found for the groups belonging to the Saldoidea. The Amphibiocorisae and Saldoidea are, however, possibly sister-groups, yet there are no positive arguments to link them to one of the other groups of the Heteroptera. The long rostrum of the Saldidae and the Ochteridae is a plesiomorphic feature; both groups also show plesiomorphic conditions in the musculature of the stylets and in the mandibular and maxillary levers. Both families belong to different groups of the Heteroptera but they are similar in their carnivorous or necrophagous habits. The basic group of the Heteroptera therefore was probably zoophagous as well. A diagram of the relationships of the Crytocerata is set up. Ochteridae is the sister-group of Gelastocoridae (Ochteridae + Gelastocoridae form the Telmatobia). The Telmatobia + Corixoidea + Aphelocheiroidea + Naucoroidea + Notonectoidea are proved to be a monophyletic unit through the apomorphic development of the clypeus and the foodpump. They are the sister-group of the Nepoidea.

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