PhD project, Hallvard Elven
Project: "Phylogeny of the tribe Athetini Casey, 1910 (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) based on morphological and molecular characters."
Supervisors: Vladimir Gusarov / Lutz Bachmann
The aim of my project is to investigate more closely the phylogenetic relationships within the beetle tribe Athetini, a large tribe belonging to the rove beetle family (Staphylinidae).
The rove beetles are one of the two largest beetle families, counting about 50 000 described species. They are found in all regions and all terrestial habitats, being most common in soil and litter and all sorts of decomposing organic material. Most rove beetles are predators, but many others eat fungi, detritus or carrion, and some visit flowers.
The tribe Athetini is one of the largest rove beetle tribes, counting more than 170 genera and thousands of species. The typical athetine species is about 2 mm long, black, and almost indistinguishable from its closest relatives. The phylogeny of the group has been a largely untouched area, partly because of the sheer size of the group and partly because of the difficulties finding good morphological traits for use in the analysis. By combining molecular data with an extended set of morphological characters, we hope to make some headway in this respect.
|Atheta confusa seen through the microscope||Entomologist seen through the microscope|