Superfamiliae: Bostrichoidea - Buprestoidea - Byrrhoidea - Chrysomeloidea - Cleroidea - Cucujoidea - Curculionoidea - Dascilloidea - Derodontoidea - Elateroidea - Histeroidea - Hydrophiloidea - Lymexyloidea - Scarabaeoidea - Scirtoidea - Staphylinoidea - Tenebrionoidea
The monophyly of Polyphaga appears to be certain, but the infraordinal classification needs a complete overhaul. Only Cucujiformia and Scarabaeiformia appear to be monophyletic, with the latter rendering Staphyliniformia paraphyletic (i.e., a monophyletic Haplogastra).
* Caterino, M.S.; Hunt, T.; Vogler, A.P. 2005: On the constitution and phylogeny of Staphyliniformia (Insecta: Coleoptera). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 34: 655-672.
Polyphaga is the largest and most diverse suborder of beetles; the name is derived from two two Greek words: poly-, meaning 'many', and phagein, meaning 'to eat', so the suborder is called the “eaters of many things”. Polyphaga comprises 144 families in 16 superfamilies, and displays an enormous variety of specialization and adaptation, with over 300,000 described species, or approximately 90% of the beetle species so far discovered.
Key characteristics of Polyphaga are that the hind coxa (base of the leg), does not divide the first and second abdominal/ventral plates which are known as sternites. Also, the notopleural suture (found under the pronotal shield) is not present.
There are 5 infraorders:
* Bostrichiformia — including furniture beetles and skin beetles.
The internal classification of Polyphaga involves several superfamilies or series, whose constituents are relatively stable, although some smaller families (whose rank even is disputed) are allocated to different clades by different authors. Large superfamilies include Hydrophiloidea, Staphylinoidea, Scarabaeoidea, Buprestoidea, Byrrhoidea, Elateroidea, and Bostrichoidea.
The infraorder Cucujiformia includes the vast majority of phytophagous (plant-eating) beetles, united by cryptonephric Malpighian tubules of the normal type, a cone ommatidium with open rhabdom, and lack of functional spiracles on the eighth abdominal segment. Constituent superfamilies of Cucujiformia are Cleroidea, Cucujoidea, Tenebrionoidea, Chrysomeloidea, and Curculionoidea. Evidently adoption of a phytophagous lifestyle correlates with taxon diversity in beetles, with Cucujiformia, especially weevils (Curculionoidea), forming a major radiation.
1. ^ Johnson, Norman F.; Triplehorn, Charles A. (2004). Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects (7th ed.). Belmont: Brooks/Cole. pp. 365–400, 428–429. ISBN 0030968356.
* Peter S. Cranston and Penny J. Gullan, University of California,Phylogeny of Insects, page 893.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License