Banded Net-Winged Beetle

Take a journey into the taxonomic past of Calopteron reticulatum!

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Lycidae
Genus: Calopteron
Species: Calopteron reticulatum

taxon links
If you want to discover more about the Banded Net-Winged Beetles phylogeny, click on the arrow on the far left once you arrive on the Tree of Life Web Project site.

Eukarya The Banded Net-Winged Beetle is a member of the Domain Eukarya. A common synapomorphy for Eukaryotic organisms is that they have a distinct nucleus which contains the organisms genetic material, also known as DNA. Working through to the major clades, another synapomorphy that arises is the presence of membrane bound organelles and later, multicellular and unicellular organisms (Campbell et al. 2008).

Animalia (Animals) C. reticulatum is a member of the Kingdom Animalia. One characteristic of organisms that belong to Kingdom Animalia is that they belong to the Major clade Opisthokonta which are characterized by posterior flagella that propel them forward. Additionally, another feature that characterizes organisms in Kingdom Animalia is that they are heterotrophic, meaning that they cannot make their own food (Campbell et al. 2008).

Arthropoda (Arthropods) One of the characteristics that makes this beetle an arthropod is its exoskeleton which as noted on the homepage, is composed of chitin. Unlike humans, arthropods do not have Calcium, which is a main component in our skeletal support systems (Arnett 2000). Additionally, arthropods cannot make their own food like plants can with photosynthesis and therefore are heterotrophs.

Insecta (Insects) One common characteristic of insects is that their body consists of three parts, the head, thorax and abdomen. Some also have the ability to fly while others cannot fly. Additionally, like many other organisms, insects are heterotrophic. Some of them drink the blood of other animals while some eat the flesh of plants (Marshall 2006).

Coleoptera (Beetles and Weevils) The Order Coleoptera is characterized by having modified front wings that protect a beetle's or weevil's membranous wings. This is also the largest order of insects. Additionally, another characteristic about Coleoptera is that each organism starts in an egg and grow to an adult (Meyer 2009).

Lycidae (Net winged Beetles) Many species in family lycidae will aggregate at some point in their life. The point of the Banded Net-Winged Beetle’s life cycle where it aggregates is in the larvae stage prior to pupation (Hall et al. 2008). Family lycidae species also contain chemicals that make them toxic to predators. This characteristic is present in C. reticulatum in its ability to deter predators with its foul taste which is explained more in Form and Function.

Calopteron (terminale Orange Wing)     Our beetle fits perfectly under the genus Calopteron because the amazing pattern on its wings. The Greek translation for “calo” is beautiful, and “pteron” (a version of ptera) is wing; therefore, beautiful wing is a perfect match for this beetle. Worldwide, there are approximately 150 species with three species of these unique fliers located in the Midwest region of the United States.

Calopteron reticulatum (Banded Net-wing) Calopteron reticulatum is the specific scientific name the beetle for which this site is dedicated to. "Calopteron" is the genus name of this beetle as seen above and "reticulatum" is the specific epithet. This beetle in part gets its name from its reticulated or banded pattern on its wings. Keep reading on, the journey hasn’t quite ended yet.

Phylogenetic trees
Phylogeneetic trees are use in biology to map species evolution accross linages and times. These trees consist of branches that split into different directions at points called nodes. Nodes are splits in a phylogenetic tree that give evidence that there was a synapomorphic divergence or converenge to a species. Additionally, each label in the below phylogenetic tree represents a new synampomorphy which could be an internal or external physical characteristic.

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Figure 1. Calopteron reticulatum is a Eukaryotic organism that has evolved within the Phylum Arthropoda. Photo used with permission by Rya Haag 2014.

Calopteron reticulatum as noted above as being a member of the Phylum Arthropoda. Phylum Arthropoda is also within the Kingdom Animalia. As you may observe below, Phylum Arthropoda is the sister taxa of Phylum Nematoda. Two organisms that are identified as nematodas are your common earthworm that some people use as bait for fishing and leeches, which are commonly known as blood suckers. Additionally, Calopteron reticulatum shares the synapomorphy labeled "molting." Molting is a term that refers to the shedding of an external exoskeleton during the life cycle of an organism. External exoskeletons until bone in the Chordates does not grow with the organism and therefore the organism must get rid of the exoskeleton. Also, one of the main differences between an exoskeleton and bone tissue is that bones contain Calcium and the exoskeletons contain Chitin, which is a non-living support material.

A few other synapomorthic characteristics that Calopteron reticulatum has is that it is triploblastic and a protostome. Organisms that are triploblastic also have bilateral symmetry which means that if one were to slice them in two, both sides would look identical. Additionally, organisms that are known to be protostomes had their mouth form first and then their anus.


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