Master's Theses

Department

Biology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Abstract

The New World Heteropteran genus Piezogaster is revised with in-depth descriptions of the genus and its contained species. A diagnostic key to twenty-nine currently recognized species, complete with images and illustrations is provided. Two new species of Piezogaster are described, one exclusive to western Mexico, and the other extending form the southwest United States through central Mexico, Piezogster alternates (Say) is resurrected from synonymy under Piezogaster calcarator (Fabricius), after examination of homoetype specimens, ranges and examination of the descriptions of both species in the literature. Piezogaster ashmeadi (Montandon) is synonymized with P, alternates, based on like diagnostic characters in the literature, sympatric ranges, and the complete lack of identified specimens of P. ashmeadi. Piezogaster herricki (Blote) is synonymized with Piezogaster indecorus (Walker), because of the vagueness of the original description of P. herrichi, the reliance on an inconsistent diagnostic character for separation, and sympatric ranges of both species. Piezogaster humeralis (Distant) is synonymized with Piezogaster camposi (Montandon), based on prior research by O’Shea (1974), similar diagnostic characters in both original descriptions, and material form Distant’s collection at the British Museum identified as P. humeralis that is identical every way to identified specimens of P. camposi. Piezogaster scitus Brailovsky & Barrera is synonymized with Piezogaster auriculatus (Stal) after examination of original descriptions and difficulty in finding any real character distinction between specimens of both species, using specimens identified by Brailovsky. Distributional data are updated by state for the United States and Mexico, as well as by country for Central and South America. Ranges are expanded for nearly all examined species. Distributions examined using Geographic Information System software clarified questions concerning rang overlap of P. alternates and P. calcarator as well as P. herrichi and P. indecorus. Distributional data analysis also showed a discrepancy in the reported distribution of P. auriculatus; the modified range excludes New Mexico and Texas.

Advisor

Richard Packauskas

Date of Award

Fall 2000

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Rights

© 2000 Beau M. Dealy

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