Phylogenetic position of a threatened stag beetle, Lucanus datunensis (Coleoptera: Lucanidae) in Taiwan and implications for conservation

Chung Ping Lin*, Jen Pan Huang, Yat Hung Lee, Ming Yu Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Among nine endemic Lucanus beetles in Taiwan, L. datunensis is the island's smallest and most threatened species. It currently exists as only one population located in tall grasslands of Mt. Datun in the Yangmingshan National Park. Given the isolated population, unique subtropical grassland, and the threats resulting from human activities, L. datunensis raises immediate conservation concern for its long-term survival. Phylogenies reconstructed from combined mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (1310 bps) and nuclear wingless (436 bps) genes were resolved and placed L. datunensis as a phylogenetically distinct species sister to L. fortunei from China. All 13 examined individuals of L. datunensis shared just one mitochondrial haplotype suggesting extremely low mitochondrial DNA diversity and a small effective population size. L. datunensis and morphologically closest L. miwai were distantly related and appear to have evolved in parallel the life history traits of a small body size and diurnal mate-searching behavior. We hypothesize that these habitat-associated characters are convergent adaptations that have evolved in response to shifts from forests to grasslands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalConservation Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Convergent adaptation
  • Cox1
  • Subtropical grassland
  • Wingless
  • Yangmingshan National Park

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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