New Tarsal Formula for Aleocharinae

It’s funny how life works out sometimes. Back in the day, tarsal formula was THE way to classify aleocharines. It’s a nice idea, very numerical and exacting. But, we now know, and this stinging fact is becoming more and more apparent with each additional study, that tarsal formula is super homoplastic and usage needs a bag, not a pinch of salt when considering.

Another addition to the aleocharine tarsal formula collage: 3-4-5!

Fore leg from this strange undescribed 3-4-5 Neotropical lineage.

Fore leg with 3 tarsomeres.


5 responses to “New Tarsal Formula for Aleocharinae

  1. Hi Taro, I was left wondering what the “normal” tarsal formula is. Cut and pasted from Wikipedia’s English page on Aleocharinae: 2-2-2, 3-3-3, 4-4-4, 5-5-5, 4-4-5, 4-5-5 tarsal segments (!!!)

    • By normal, I interpret that as ancestral: in which case it’s 5-5-5. But you’re absolutely right, it’s crazy out there! There seems to be a trend to fuse anterior leg tarsomeres and the craziest one in my opinion is Dimonomera indica of India, a glorified Myllaena with 1-1-5 – what?! We need to keep searching, there’s bound to be more crazy-ness out there!

  2. Thank you for your answer. I will look forward your publication!

  3. Very interesting… Where can I find the paper?

    • Oops, wasn’t clear. It’s in prep. right now! We hope to have the m.s. submitted right into the new year. I’ll blog the published product as well. Thanks for the interest.

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