This objective is classically achieved through analyses combining morphological and environmental data, molecular phylogenies, and the fossil record [1–3].
These analyses are, however, sometimes inconclusive, especially when the fossil record is disputed, scarce or incomplete (a limitation inherent to fossils) or when molecular phylogenies rely on limited samples [4–6].
Mr Baglar specialises in nature and wildlife photography, capturing images of birds, butterflies, orchids and insects in his native Cyprus.
He reached the finals of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards with an image of two praying mantises in a similar pose.
Our present study aims at understanding the origin of these three groups by overcoming previous limitations in taxon and molecular samplings and in fossil record.
Several hypotheses exist about the phylogenetic relationships of Dictyoptera or its suborders [16–20,23,25–39].
These works were not all specifically dedicated to test hypotheses of dictyopteran relationships and therefore focused on different taxonomic and character samples.
Consequently, directly comparing these phylogenetic hypotheses is intractable but there is one obvious conclusion: we still lack a robust consensus about dictyopteran phylogenetic relationships.Special attention must therefore be paid to improve character and taxon sampling in phylogenies and to evaluate the quality of the fossil record [7,8].Despite these recommendations, obtaining additional data may be difficult even with a strong sampling effort, especially for fossils for which complete specimens in good state of preservation and phylogenetically relevant are not easily found.Thus, they cannot be readily used and would instead require a re-examination with additional evidence or an independent validation through dating estimates.Second, even though well-established molecular phylogenies have been proposed for praying mantises and termites [17–19], phylogenies including the three groups together had much smaller taxonomic and molecular samples and/or did not incorporate attempts of calibration and datings [16,20].To address these limitations and produce a robust analysis, several research strategies designed recently include: integrating the quality of fossil record into the calibration [9,10]; basing dating methods on statistical distributions to account for uncertainties ; and nesting the study in a deeper group better-represented in the fossil record and including appropriate outgroups [12–14].