Crustacean - Insect Relationships: The Use of Brain Characters to Derive Phylogeny amongst Segmented Invertebrates

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Conserved neural characters identified in the brains of a variety of segmented invertebrates and outgroups have been used to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships. The analysis suggests that insects and crustaceans are sister groups and that the 'myriapods' are an artificial construct comprising unrelated chilopods and diplopods. Certain elements of the optic lobes and mid-brain support the notion that insects are more closely related to crustaceans than they are to any other arthropods. However, deep optic neuropils and optic chiasmata are homoplastic in insects and crustaceans. The organization of olfactory pathways suggests that insect olfactory lobes originated late, probably first appearing in orthopteroid or blattoid pterygotes. The present results are discussed with respect to recent studies on early development of arthropod nervous systems and the fossil record.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-206
Number of pages21
JournalBrain, Behavior and Evolution
Issue number4--5
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998



  • Arthropods
  • Crustaceans
  • Evolution
  • Insects
  • Neural characters
  • Phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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