Compositional phylogenomic modelling resolves the ‘Zoraptera problem’

Published: 4 May 2022| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/pk747fvxxp.2
Erik Tihelka,
Michael S. Engel,
Jesus Lozano-Fernandez,
Mattia Giacomelli,
Ziwei Yin,
Omar Rota-Stabelli,
Diying Huang,
Davide Pisani,
Philip C. J. Donoghue,
Chenyang Cai


The evolution of wings propelled insects to their present mega-diversity. However, interordinal relationships of early-diverging winged insects and the timescale of their evolution are difficult to resolve, in part due to uncertainties in the placement of the enigmatic and species-poor order Zoraptera. The ‘Zoraptera problem’ has remained a contentious issue in insect evolution since its discovery more than a century ago. This is a key issue because different placements of Zoraptera imply dramatically different scenarios of diversification and character evolution among polyneopteran. Here, we investigate the systematic placement of Zoraptera using the largest protein-coding gene dataset available to date, deploying methods to mitigate common sources of error in phylogenomic inference, and testing historically proposed hypotheses of zorapteran evolution.



Paleontology, Entomology, Insect Evolution, Phylogenomics