oa Annals of the Natal Museum - Structure and evolution of spiracular gills in pupae of net-winged midges (Nematocera; Blephariceridae): Part III: Gill diversity in Paulianina (subfamily Edwardsininae)

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



The pupal gill structure of seven species of the Madagascan genus Paulianina has been examined by scanning electron microscopy and compared with that of other Edwardsininae. The respiratory organs of P. ingens (subgenus Paulianina s.s.) have a primitive anatomy and resemble in some respects the gills of the neotropic Edwardsina chilota, whereas the species of the subgenus Eupaulianina are unique among Blephariceridae not only because of the peculiar shape of their respiratory processes, but also because of the special structure of the plastron. An additional apomorphic character of this subgenus is a blister at the terminal end of the dorsal granules on the pupal tergites. P. umbra (Paulianina s.s.) seems to be an intermediate form with regard to gill structure. Based on the morphological findings, a phylogeny of Paulianina is proposed that includes, contrary to current systematics, the subgenus Paulianina s.s. as a paraphyletic taxon. The adaptive value of the transformation of respiratory lamellae into broad swellings is obscure, because all Paulianina species develop in fast-flowing streams and therefore live in the same type of habitat as other blepharicerids. The complex pattern of arrangement of the dorsal granules of Eupaulianina agrees well with the flow pattern around blepharicerid pupae.

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