D0110 The Leucophoropterini (Miridae: Phylinae) of the world, and what does it mean to be an ant-mimic?

Monday, November 17, 2008
Exhibit Hall 3, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Katrina L Menard , Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
The Plant-bug Planetary Biodiversity Inventory is an ongoing effort by leading experts in Miridae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) to collect, describe, and database the world fauna of two of its largest sub-families: the Phylinae and the Orthotylinae. Both sister subfamilies are unique in their high degree of host-plant specificity, as well as their biology. Research efforts have focused on the temperate regions of the world, which have shown to have the highest diversity of these two groups. Australia is of particular importance due to the high amount of endemism of its plant fauna, as well as the lack of knowledge about its diverse mirid fauna. Current only 10% of its fauna have been described. As part of this effort to describe and study the fauna of this region, my research has focused on the tribe Leucophoropterini (Miridae: Phylinae), a group that has been thought to have radiated from Australia. The tribe is mostly restricted to the Old-world tropics and Indo-Pacific region, and defined by their simple, small genitalia, varying degrees of ant-mimicry, and trichobotrial patterns. Presented is a phylogenetic analysis of the Leucophoropterini based on morphological and molecular data, as well as a discussion on the ant-mimicry as a defining character of the tribe.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.35864