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Int J Biol Sci 2014; 10(8):895-908. doi:10.7150/ijbs.9454

Research Paper

The First Mitochondrial Genomes of Antlion (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) and Split-footed Lacewing (Neuroptera: Nymphidae), with Phylogenetic Implications of Myrmeleontiformia

Yan Yan1, Yuyu Wang1, Xingyue Liu1✉, Shaun L. Winterton2, Ding Yang1✉

1. Department of Entomology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.
2. California State Collection of Arthropods, California Department of Food & Agriculture, Sacramento, California 95832, United States of America.


In the holometabolous insect order Neuroptera (lacewings), the cosmopolitan Myrmeleontidae (antlions) are the most species-rich family, while the closely related Nymphidae (split-footed lacewings) are a small endemic family from the Australian-Malesian region. Both families belong to the suborder Myrmeleontiformia, within which controversial hypotheses on the interfamilial phylogenetic relationships exist. Herein, we describe the complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes of an antlion (Myrmeleon immanis Walker, 1853) and a split-footed lacewing (Nymphes myrmeleonoides Leach, 1814), representing the first mt genomes for both families. These mt genomes are relatively small (respectively composed of 15,799 and 15,713 bp) compared to other lacewing mt genomes, and comprise 37 genes (13 protein coding genes, 22 tRNA genes and two rRNA genes). The arrangement of these two mt genomes is the same as in most derived Neuroptera mt genomes previously sequenced, specifically with a translocation of trnC. The start codons of all PCGs are started by ATN, with an exception of cox1, which is ACG in the M. immanis mt genome and TCG in N. myrmeleonoides. All tRNA genes have a typical clover-leaf structure of mitochondrial tRNA, with the exception of trnS1(AGN). The secondary structures of rrnL and rrnS are similar with those proposed insects and the domain I contains nine helices rather than eight helices, which is common within Neuroptera. A phylogenetic analysis based on the mt genomic data for all Neuropterida sequenced thus far, supports the monophyly of Myrmeleontiformia and the sister relationship between Ascalaphidae and Myrmeleontidae.

Keywords: mitochondrial genome, Neuroptera, Myrmeleontiformia, phylogeny.

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How to cite this article:
Yan Y, Wang Y, Liu X, Winterton SL, Yang D. The First Mitochondrial Genomes of Antlion (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) and Split-footed Lacewing (Neuroptera: Nymphidae), with Phylogenetic Implications of Myrmeleontiformia. Int J Biol Sci 2014; 10(8):895-908. doi:10.7150/ijbs.9454. Available from