Oberprieler, Rolf G., Marvaldi, Adriana E. & Anderson, Robert S., 2007, Weevils, weevils, weevils everywhere *, Zootaxa 1668, pp. 491-520 : 501

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.274039


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Caridae View in CoL

With only 4 genera and 6 species described (but about a dozen more known from Australia and New Guinea), this is the smallest of weevil families and evidently another relict group. It is restricted to the southern hemisphere, two species known from South America, about 12 from Australia and about half that number from New Guinea. Host associations are predominantly with cupressaceous conifers, but the New Guinean species have been found on podocarps and probably also the Australian Carodes is associated with a different conifer. The known larvae (of the Australian Car condensatus ) develop on young seeds in closed female cones of Callitris , into which the females drill oviposition holes with their rostrum. This rostrum differs from that of the previous groups by having a compacted maxilla, and the antennae are inserted far back on the rostrum with the basal segment (the scape) elongated to reach the front eye margin when folded back. The Caridae evidently also preserve the ancestral association of weevils with conifers (fig. 6), and the larva, which uses its clawed legs to crawl around in the chambers of the female cone over the developing seeds, may represent the first stage in the evolution of endophytic life in weevil larvae.

Controversy surrounds the name of the family, in that, following the placement of the fragmented Karatau fossil Eccoptarthrus crassipes in Caridae by Zherikhin & Gratshev (1995), its name is superseded by the older family-group name Eccoptarthridae . However, there is nothing tangible that relates Eccoptarthrus to Caridae , and the broadened basal tarsites, which Zherikhin & Gratshev (1995) regarded as a defining feature of the family, are neither restricted to this family nor in fact universal in extant carids. Eccoptarthrus evidently is a nemonychid like the other Karatau fossils (Kuschel 2003) and probably just the dorsal impression of another species described as Archaeorrhynchus or similar genus (Oberprieler & Kuschel, in prep.). The affinities and classificatory position of Caridae have also been controversial, the group (generally based on Car only) having earlier been assigned to Nemonychidae , Rhynchitinae and Apioninae (see Zimmerman 1994a for full account) and more recently to Belidae ( Thompson 1992) and Brentidae ( May 1993, Kuschel 1995). However, following the discovery of the larva ( May 1994) and the inclusion of its characters in phylogenetic analyses, a position as a distinct family adelphic to Brentidae + Curculionidae is strongly indicated ( Marvaldi & Morrone 2000, Oberprieler 2000, Marvaldi et al. 2002).











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