Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

A revision of the genus Deraeocoris Kirschbaum (Heteroptera:Miridae) from western America north of Mexico Public Deposited

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  • The genus Deraeocoris Kirschbaum of western America north of Mexico was revised. Approximately 10,000 specimens from the Nearctic Region were examined. Taxonomic characters used by previous authors were reevaluated. In addition to the male parameres, the male vesica and the female posterior wall of the bursa copulatrix and sclerotized rings were used extensively in distinguishing species. Even though the species of this genus are predaceous, known host plants were used to assess the distribution of the species. Six species-groups are recognized based on comparative, quantitative and cladistic analysis of morphological and ecological characteristics. Forty-four species and one subspecies are known to occur in western North America. Five new species, Deraeocoris fraserensis, D. cochise, D. gilensis, D. knightonius, and D. schuhi are described. D. incertus variety picipes Knight is given species status. The following synonymies are proposed: D. rufusculus Knight = D. incertus Knight, D. pilosus Knight = D. fulvescens (Reuter), D. californicus Knight = D. cerachates Uhler, D. incertus variety carneolus Knight = D. picipes Knight. The remaining varieties named by H. H. Knight are recognized only as color forms of their respective nominal species. Until more specimens are secured and its range assessed accurately, D. barberi hesperus is retained as a subspecies of D. barberi, even though it shows some differences in the shape of the posterior wall of the bursa copulatrix. The male and female genitalia were found to be useful taxonomic characters for the genus. Intraspecific variation of the characters appeared to be significantly smaller when mature specimens are compared. Most species breed on one or several host plant species within a given type of habitat. The incertus and barberi groups breed exclusively on conifers. The remaining groups live on dictyledonous shrubs or trees. Many species are known to feed on aphids, chermids, psocids and coccids. Several species,including D. brevis and D. nebulosus, are of importance in the control of some orchard pests.
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