Morphological evidence for paraphyly of Holopothrips Hood (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae), a Neotropical genus of gall-inducing thrips
Holopothrips is a diverse group of thrips associated to galls in the Neotropics, with a variety of host plants and wide morphological diversity. Relationships to other Neotropical groups have been proposed, but are still untested, and the monophyly of the genus remains doubtful. Here, we perform a phylogenetic analysis of Holopothrips, based on morphological characters. A total of 87 species were included in the matrix and eight analyses were carried out, but all of them failed to recover Holopothrips as a monophyletic grouping. Bremer and Bootstrap support values were low, and the topologies varied among all analyses, with uncertain internal relations for the ingroup. These results indicate that the relationships for Holopothrips species, and the proposed related genera, are more complex than previously reported; and morphological characters may not be enough to recover the evolutionary story within this group. We also discuss the influences of different character coding, continuous characters and weighting schemes in our results.