Systematics, Evolution and Taxonomy of Leptolycini (Coleoptera, Lycidae)
Since 2016 I have been developing my PhD studies at Montana State University, where I focus my studies in the systematics, evolution and taxonomy of Elateroidea. My dissertation is focused on the Leptolycini (Lycidae, Lycinae), a group of neotenous lycids under the supervision of Dr. Michael A. Ivie.
Leptolycini are characterized by adult females that lack the characters that define the adult form of a beetle: compound eyes, wings, elytra, 11 antennomeres, ovipositor and a multi-segmented tarsus. These extreme neotenic adult females are often termed “larviform” females, and in most cases, the status of a given individual as an adult or larvae is not really known.
In contrast, males of these sexually dimorphic species have all the normal adult characters and are immediately identifiable as a beetle. My current research is focused in unraveling the high diversity in these sexually dimorphic case of extreme neotenous beetles using biology, morphology and DNA.
In addition to my PhD research with the Leptolycini I am currently working in the following projects:
1) Taxonomic Revision of Calochromini (Lycidae, Lycinae), with focus on the New World genera
3) Revision of the World Omethidae (Coleoptera, Elateroidea)
4) Taxonomic revision of the genus Thonalmus Bourgeois, 1882 (Lycidae, Thonalmini)
I am also interested in the taxonomy of other families of Elateroidea and Byrrhoidea, such as Omethidae (including Telegeusinae) Cerophytidae, Cneoglossidae, Phengodidae and Lampyridae as well as other odd balls within these superfamilies.