4 gene and morphology phylogeny
Piotr Naskrecki and I are combining molecular and morphological characters to build a phylogeny of the katydids, with an emphasis on the subfamily Pseudophyllinae. We are interested in reconstructing the evolution of the female stridulation, the loss of sound production in the males, and the appearance of substitute sound-production mechanisms. Our data indicate that female stridulations has evolved at least 10 times independently, and in most cases their stridulatory mechanisms are non-homologous with those of the males. The loss of male stridulation is a relatively rare event, which nonetheless took place at least 5 times during the evolution of the group, and each time for very different reasons.
Within katydids, sylvan katydids (Pseudophyllinae), show the greatest range of sound production mechanisms, both in the males and females. This lineage also exhibits some of the most diverse and extreme cases of plant mimetism among insects.
photo by Piotr Naskrecki