A scheme of schisms: Toward a systematic revision of the largest litter bug genus, Schizoptera (Heteroptera: Schizopteridae)

Monday, November 17, 2014: 9:00 AM
Portland Ballroom 251 (Oregon Convention Center)
Stephanie Leon , Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA
Christiane Weirauch , Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA
With 62 described species, the Neotropical genus Schizoptera Fieber is currently the largest genus of Schizopteridae (Hemiptera: Dipsocoromorpha). Previous work by McAtee, Malloch and Emsley, amongst others, resulted in a first outline of species diversity and geographic distributions as well as morphological diversity across the genus. Species of Schizoptera showcase intriguing morphological modifications of male genitalia, displaying a range of subgenital asymmetries and modified spicules and appendages. Schizoptera is currently divided into 6 subgenera, some with distinctive morphological characteristics, while others remain but a headache to sort and identify. Due to the vast amount of material that has recently become available from different collections, it is now evident that a substantial number of species across the Neotropical region remains to be described. A systematic revision of this genus is clearly long overdue. We here present a molecular phylogeny of Schizoptera that will allow us to subdivide the genus into monophyletic and more manageable smaller groups. As part of this endeavor, we test the monophyly of previously proposed subgeneric groupings and investigate character transitions of morphological features thought to be diagnostic for various subgenera.