Evolution of head structures in Coleoptera with special emphasis on the feeding apparatus and miniaturized forms

Aims of the present study were (1) a thorough documentation of head structures of different genera of Ptiliidae (Staphyliniformia) with different feeding preferences and body size, (2) an optimization of anatomical techniques for studying extremely miniaturized insects, (3) a comparison of the obtained data with cephalic conditions in other miniaturized and moderately sized forms (Sphaeriusidae, Clambidae, Leiodidae) with feeding preferences similar those of Ptiliidae, (4) reconstructing the evolution of sporophagy within Ptiliidae and in the broader context of Staphylinoidea, and finally (5) discuss the evolution of the feeding apparatus in the context of the basal splitting events in Coleoptera, i.e. the relationships of the suborders Polyphaga, Myxophaga, Adephaga and Archostemata. ...


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