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Title: Speciation and diversification of the beetle tribe Cratopini on the islands of the South West Indian Ocean area
Author: Kitson, James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 7667
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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The aim of this thesis is to examine a spectacular radiation of phytophagous beetles (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Cratopini) that inhabit the islands of the South-Western Indian Ocean. As there are no previous molecular studies of these beetles, it was necessary to take a varied approach that employed both population genetic methods and phylogenetic methods to gain a broad understanding of the evolution of the group. Questions addressed range from aspects of the ecology of individual species to the relationships within islands amongst morphospecies and finally to the biogeography of the group as a whole. Throughout, where appropriate, reference is made to the current understanding of Indian Ocean geology and how this effects the interpretation of the patterns seen. The relationships amongst morphospecies are complex with many found to be paraphyletic within much larger monophyletic clades of multiple morphospecies. Coalescent model based species delimitation techniques are used to define the boundaries of putative species for future examination. The overall biogeography of the group is found to be highly complex with multiple colonisation events across islands and archipelagos. Flight is found to have been lost on multiple occasions and the taxonomy of the group is discussed. Finally many Cratopine lineages are found to display strong population structure despite being flighted, possible reasons for this are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available