The Anopheles genus is a member of the Culicidae family and consists of approximately 460 recognized species. The genus is composed of 7 subgenera with diverse geographical distributions. Despite its huge medical importance, a consensus has not been reached on the phylogenetic relationships among Anopheles subgenera. We assembled a comprehensive dataset comprising the COI, COII and 5.8S rRNA genes and used maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to estimate the phylogeny and divergence times of six out of the seven Anopheles subgenera. Our analysis reveals a monophyletic group composed of the three exclusively Neotropical subgenera, Stethomyia, Kerteszia and Nyssorhynchus, which began to diversify in the Late Cretaceous, at approximately 90 Ma. The inferred age of the last common ancestor of the Anopheles genus was ca. 110 Ma. The monophyly of all Anopheles subgenera was supported, although we failed to recover a significant level of statistical support for the monophyly of the Anopheles genus. The ages of the last common ancestors of the Neotropical clade and the Anopheles and Cellia subgenera were inferred to be at the Late Cretaceous (ca. 90 Ma). Our analysis failed to statistically support the monophyly of the Anopheles genus because of an unresolved polytomy between Bironella and A. squamifemur.
Freitas, L. A., Russo, C. A. M., Voloch, C. M., Mutaquiha, O. C. F., Marques, L. P., & Schrago, C. G. (2015). Diversification of the genus Anopheles and a neotropical clade from the Late Cretaceous. PLoS ONE, 10(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0134462