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Systematics of Gyrinidae
Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Biology
University of New Mexico
Museum of Southwestern Biology
167 Castetter Hall, MSC03 2020
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
Voice mail: (505) 277-4225
Email (replace (AT) with @): gtgustafson(AT)gmail.com
I am interested in the systematics of the family Gyrinidae, commonly known as the whirligig beetles, performing alpha taxonomy within the group as well as using phylogenetics to answer and explore interesting questions within the Gyrinidae. Specifically, my current work focuses on the tribe Enhydrini within the Gyrinidae. The Enhydrini contains the largest and most conspicuous members of the whirligigs and is composed of the genera Porrorhynchus, Dineutus, Andogyrus, Macrogyrus, and Enhydrus.
This group is interesting from two aspects; taxonomically and biogeographically. Taxonomically the group has two of its five component genera with their monophyly in question, and three of the genera have been extensively divided into subgenera, whose monophyly have never been tested phylogenetically. Biogeographically this group is incredibly interesting especially in reference to the largest genus with the group Dineutus. Dineutus is found in North America from Panama northward, throughout Africa, in to the Middle East, down to Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, New Guinea, and Australia. It is suspiciously missing from South America. To make matters even more interesting South America has two enhydrine genera endemic to it: Enhydrus and Andogyrus. Of these, recent molecular evidence has suggested that Andogyrus is nested within the primarily Australian and New Guinean genus Macrogyrus, which is absent from Africa. My phylogenetic work will hopefully provide the interesting biogeographic and evolution history of the Enhydrini, while clarifying its higher taxonomy.
Another area of interest for me is the evolution of sperm competition strategies within the Gyrinidae and the consequences of it for speciation. Sperm conjugation is a type of sperm competition strategy rare among animal groups but appearing in a variety of forms within the family Gyrinidae. The Gyrinidae offer a unique system for the study of the evolution of sperm competition strategies and its consequence on species numbers as they have an incredibly narrow ecological range, all being carnivorous and inhabiting the surface of primarily fresh water. I intend to use the phylogenetics of this family as a whole to study the evolution of sperm competition with the Gyrinidae. Luck may even have it that sperm provide useful characters for phylogenetic elucidation.
Aside from the systematics of Gyrinidae I perform work in other aquatic beetle groups and have interests in aquatic beetle systematics as a broader whole. I first began aquatic beetle systematics work with under Dr. Andrew Short at the University of Kansas working on small groups within the Hydrophilidae and have performed several projects within the Hydradephaga outside of the Gyrinidae. In the future I intend to continue work on aquatic beetle systematics but keeping the Gyrinidae as my primary focus.
- Gustafson, G.T. & Chaboo, C.S. 2009. Ambulatory use of ventro-lateral abdominal ampullae by larvae of Labidomera clivicollis (Kirby) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Chrysomelinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin, 63(3): 357-363.
- Gustafson, G.T. & A.E.Z. Short. 2010. Revision of the Neotropical water scavenger beetle genus Guyanobius Spangler, 1986 (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae: Chaetarthriini). Aquatic Insects, 32(4): 245-258.
- Gustafson, G.T. & A.E.Z. Short. 2010. Redescription of the Neotropical water scavenger beetle genus Phaenostoma (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) with description of two new species. Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae, 50(2): 459-469.
- Gustafson, G.T. & K.B. Miller. 2012. A new species of Desmopachria Babington from Venezuela (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae: Hydroporinae: Hyphydrini). Koleopterologische Rundschau, 82: 71-76.
- Gustafson, G.T. & K.B. Miller. [in prep.] On the family – and genus-group names in Gyrinidae Latreille, 1810 (Coleoptera). ZooKeys.
- Baca, S.M., G.T. Gustafson, & K.B. Miller. [in prep.] Revision of the Neotropical burrowing water beetle genus Liocanthydrus (Coleoptera: Noteridae) with the description of two new species.
- Gustafson, G.T. & K.B. Miller. [in prep.] A new species of Dineutus MacLeay with a key to the adults of the North American species (Coleoptera: Gyrinidae).
- Gustafson, G.T. & K.B. Miller. [in prep.] Revision of the southeast Asian whirligig beetle genus Porrorhynchus Laporte with a cladistic analysis of the subgenus Spinosodineutes Hatch of the genus Dineutus MacLeay (Coleoptera: Gyrinidae: Gyrininae: Enhydrini).
- Gustafson, G.T. & K.B. Miller. Phylogenetic analysis of the whirligig beetle tribe Enhydrini (Coleoptera: Gyrinidae: Gyrininae).
- Gustafson, G.T. & K.B. Miller. Catalog of the Gyrinidae Latreille, 1810 of the World (Coleoptera).
Grey Gustafson, near Cascada Del Vino, Trujillo, Venezuela
Grey Gustafson, Costa Rica
Grey Gustafson at waterfall in Parque Nacional La Amistad, Chiriquí, Panama