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  Systematics, Phylogeny and Biology of Elateroidea / Elateridae

The main focus of this research project has been the study concerning the systematics, bionomics and evolution of the Elateridae family. The Pyrophorini (Agrypninae), in particular, were the subject matter of countless works, among which my Ph.D. thesis. The idea of undertaking the task of studying the Agrypninae subfamily (8 tribes, 120 genera and 2,500 species) became more and more attractive having in mind a future cladistic analysis so as to understand the phylogenetic group relationship.

Considering the comprehensiveness of this research, I have tried to prepare new specialists in this area. In this way, the following professionals were engaged in the project: Sônia A. Casari (1983-1990), who took her Master Degree and Ph.D. degree with the Hemirhipini-Agrypninae, and Simone Policena Rosa (2000-2007), who revised a genus of Pyrophorini in her Master’s degree course, and the cladistic analysis of the same tribe in her Doctorate. Besides, I have always counted on the cooperation of Sergio Antonio Vanin, Sergio Ide, John F. Lawrence, Santiago Zaragoza and Marc Branham, among others.


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After the evolution of the works on the Elateridae, I realized there was great need to try to understand better the phylogenetic relationship of the Elateriformia and of the Elateroidea. Then, several articles were published on the systematic and cladistic analysis which included immature and adults. In the series Elateriformia, for instance, the study of the Byrrhoidea – Cneoglossidae (Costa, Vanin & Ide, 1999; 2006). Concerning the Elateroidea, the following families: Brachypsectridae (Costa, Vanin, Lawrence and Ide, 2006; 2010); Cerophytidae (Costa, Vanin, Lawrence and Ide, 2003; 2010); Elateridae (Costa, Lawrence and Rosa, 2010) and Phengodidae (Costa and Zaragoza, 2010).

In addition, the study of the bioluminescent Pyrophorini led me to participate in Etelvino J. H. Bechara’s and Vadim Viviane’s multi-disciplinary research involving biochemical aspects of the bioluminescence correlated with the bionomics, morphology, systematics and phylogeny of the larvae and adults.


Profa. Dra Cleide Costa
Laboratório de Sistemática, Evolução e Bionomia de Coleoptera - Divisão Científica - Setor de Invertebrados
Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo (MZUSP)
Avenida Nazaré, 481 – Ipiranga – São Paulo, SP / Brasil
Caixa Postal 42494 – CEP 04218-970
Tel: (55-11) 2065-8124 / Fax: (55-11) 2065-8113 -