News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)
An article, published in the Journal of Biogeography, describes the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of a group of beetles with a Betic-Rifean origin. It shows that it is still possible to trace their precise geographical origin back to the Tortonian - most likely due to the abundance of subterranean species in the group, with long-term persistence of very narrow geographical ranges due to their low dispersal capabilities.
Contrary to what happened in other groups of subterranean beetles (such as those in the Pyrenees), in this case there seems to have been multiple independent colonizations of the subterranean environment, each of them leading to one or few closely related species with different degrees of phenotypic modification.
Faille, A., Andújar, C., Fadrique, F., Ribera, I. 2014. Late Miocene origin of an Ibero-Maghrebian clade of ground beetles with multiple colonizations of the subterranean environment. Journal of Biogeography, ahead of print; doi:10.1111/jbi.12349