We propose a hypothesis of relationships in a subset of the mole cricket family (Gryllotalpidae), based on morphology and call type. Living and preserved specimens of six species were examined and a literature analysis conducted, as preliminary steps in a comparative study of this family, known world-wide in tropical and temperate regions. In the literature, 76 species in 5 extant genera are described; we included in our analysis 34 species from four genera for which the most complete morphological data were available. All analyses were rooted by the outgroup method, with Gryllus texensis Cade & Otte as the outgroup and the presence of mole-like digging forelimbs as the synapomorphic character diagnosing the ingroup. Seven other characters in the analysis were restricted to discrete traits for a total of 8 characters in the analysis. Phylogenetic analyses of the complete data set yielded > 15,000 trees to which we applied various consensus analyses by PAUP without high levels of resolution. The Adams method, however, revealed a resolved group of 14 ingroup taxa from four genera, but mostly from the genus Gryllotalpa, that we subjected to re-analysis with PAUP. Two equally parsimonious trees were roughly organized into clades by call type. Our hypothesis supports previous work that has placed the genus Scapteriscus in a separate subfamily and other work that suggested the New Zealand endemic, Triamescaptor aotea Tindale, is more closely related to two Australian species of Gryllotalpa than to Gryllotalpa species as a whole. Additional field studies of songs of this family and addition of characters based on molecular data are important to resolving relationships suggested by our hypothesis.
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