A systematic study of the genus Phytocoris Fallén (Heteroptera:Miridae) in western North America Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9z9033522

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  • The western Nearctic species of the genus Phytocoris Fallen were taxonomically revised. Over 15,000 specimens were examined. Information concerning host plant associations and distributions was compiled and summarized for use by future researchers. External morphological features and characters of the male genitalia were used to distinguish species. The genital tubercles above the clasper bases, claspers, and sclerotized process of the vesica were especially useful in this effort. These structures have been illustrated for each of the included species. One-hundred and sixty-two species of Phytocoris are now recognized from western North America. These have been arranged into 20 species-groups ranging in size from two to twenty-two species. The formation of species-groups was based primarily on characters of the male genitalia. Relationships between groups were cladistically analyzed. Forty-four characters of the male genitalia and external morphology were used to determine the final arrangement of species-groups. Forty-six new species are described, and the following synonymies are proposed (senior synonym first): acaciae Knight = minuendus Knight; calli Knight = laticeps Knight; deserticola Knight lineatellus Knight; empirensis Knight = rinconae Knight; fraterculus Van Duzee = westwoodi Bliven; fuscipennis Knight = longirostris Knight; geniculatus Van Duzee = blackwelli Bliven; interspersus Uhler = eurekae Bliven; juniperanus Knight = chiricahuae Knight, flaviatus Knight, santaritae Knight; ketinelbi Bliven = kahtahbi Bliven; knowltoni Knight = albertae Knight, elongatus Knight; maritimus Van Duzee = sequoiae Bliven; neglectus Knight = yuroki Bliven; nigrifrons Van Duzee = abiesi. Knight, tehamae Bliven; palmeri Reuter = hesperellus Knight, hesperius Knight, vittatus Reuter; politus Reuter = rusticus Van Duzee; relativus Knight = albiscutellatus Knight; stellatus Van Duzee = arcatae Bliven, tinctus Knight; stitti Knight = albiceps Knight, merinoi Knight; strigosus Knight = flavellus Knight; sublineatus Knight = subcinctus Knight, tanneri Knight; vanduzeei Reuter = nigripubescens Knight; ventralis Van Duzee = contrastus Knight, ephedrae Knight, quadricinctus Knight; vinaceus Van Duzee = hyampon Bliven; yollabollae Bliven = albiclavus Knight, montanae Knight, taos Knight. The majority of western Nearctic Phytocoris species inhabit trees and shrubs; a few breed on grasses and herbaceous plants. Diversity is greatest in shrub and steppe communities of the southwestern United States. Most species are associated with one host plant or several related plant species; many appear to be inhabitants of bark. Most Phytocoris species are believed to be predaceous both as nymphs and adults, feeding on small, soft-bodied insects and mites. Several Nearctic species have been identified as predators of forest and orchard pests.
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