Molecular phylogeny and morphological analysis resolve a long-standing controversy over generic concepts in Ecdyonurinae mayflies (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae)

Zohar Yanai, Michel Sartori, Roi Dor, Netta Dorchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heptageniidae is a species-rich mayfly family (Ephemeroptera), whose taxonomy and phylogeny have been based almost exclusively on traditional morphological studies. Inconsistent use of diagnostic characters and the general lack of molecular studies have led to vague generic concepts, and the phylogenetic relationships among taxa in the family remain unclear. Afronurus Lestage is an Old World heptageniid genus of 66 species. The generic assignment of two species within this genus, A. kugleri Demoulin and A. zebratus (Hagen), has been the subject of much debate, because they share many apomorphic features that distinguish them from other congeners. We combined a thorough morphological study of all life stages of 28 representative heptageniid species with a molecular phylogenetic analysis of four mitochondrial and nuclear markers to resolve the generic position of A. kugleri and A. zebratus as well as the integrity of Afronurus and related genera. Our results confirm the monophyly of Afronurus and Electrogena and support the assignment of A. kugleri and A. zebratus to a newly described genus, Anapos Yanai & Sartori gen.n. We provide clear, diagnostic morphological characters for the genus and discuss the need for a thorough revision of generic concepts in the subfamily Ecdyonurinae. This published work has been registered in ZooBank,

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-193
Number of pages12
JournalSystematic Entomology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Helen Barber-James (Albany Museum and Rhodes University, South Africa), Boonsatien Boonsoong (Bangkok University, Thailand) and Marek Pol??ek (Masaryk University, Czech Republic) for providing material for the molecular and morphological analyses, Elda Gaino for permission to use the Afronurus zebratus egg photographs, and Jean-Luc Gattolliat, Tali Magory-Cohen, Erez Maza, Karin Tamar and Laurent Vuataz for their invaluable help with data processing and preparation. We are grateful to Ernst Bauernfeind (Museum of Natural History, Vienna) for his constructive comments on the manuscript. This study was supported by the Israel Taxonomy Initiative (ITI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Royal Entomological Society


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