Tuesday, December 15, 2009: 7:47 AM
Room 101, First Floor (Convention Center)
Lanternflies (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea: Fulgoridae), comprising approximately 550 species in 121 genera, are a family of phloem-feeding planthoppers that are well known for their strikingly diverse morphology, with some iconic species (such as the peanut-headed bug, Fulgora laternaria) ubiquitously used to exemplify not only bizarre insect evolution, but also tropical insect biodiversity. In addition to their external appearance, lanternflies are unusual insects internally in that they, and other lineages within Auchenorrhyncha, house a variety of multi-species assemblages of endosymbiotic bacteria – a condition that has been described as a “hunger for symbionts.” We present results of phylogenetic reconstructions based on DNA nucleotide sequence data from five genetic loci (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, histone 3, wingless, and cytochrome oxidase I) and 110 morphological characters for 101 fulgorid taxa in 62 genera plus 23 taxa from their putative sister family, Dictyopharidae. Results of these analyses are used to examine the base of Fulgoridae + Dictyopharidae phylogeny. Phylogenetic reconstructions of two lineages of endosymbiotic bacteria based on sequence data from 16S rDNA are used to test for codiversification of these endosymbionts with their lanternfly hosts.