Somewhat surprisingly, the rather speciose subfamily Catantopinae has largely evaded phylogenetic scrutiny. This note describes relationships among a small, but larger than that heretofore studied, subset of members based on an analysis of mitochondrial sequence characters.
Analysis of portions of 4 mitochondrial genes, some sequenced in this laboratory and some obtained from GenBank, was applied to 12 specimens of Catantopinae. Also included were representatives of the subfamilies Calliptaminae, Cyrtacanthacridinae, Eyprepocnemidinae, Melanoplinae and Oxyinae. Pyrgomorpha conica served as the outgroup. Sequences were analyzed by weighted and unweighted maximum parsimony and Bayesian methods.
Both weighted parsimony and Bayesian approaches, with some minor exceptions, yielded similar relationships. Although some clusters of catantopines do occur, molecular results appear to confirm earlier suspicions that the subfamily is not monophyletic and therefore should be subdivided. More work clearly needs to be devoted to the Catantopinae in order to determine the nature and extent of the subfamily's inevitable sundering.