Date of Award

8-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Entomology

Committee Member

Dr. Michael Caterino, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Peter Adler

Committee Member

Dr. J. Antonio Baeza

Abstract

The flea beetle genera Epitrix and Acallepitrix are revised for America North of Mexico, building on a prior preliminary revision of the genus Epitrix by the author (Deczynski 2014). Four new species are described: Epitrix cuprea sp. nov., E. rileyi sp. nov., E. latifrons sp. nov., and E. vasinoda sp. nov., bringing the North American Epitrixfauna to a total of 26 species. A key is provided to adults of all species. A phylogenetic analysis is performed based on 44 external morphological characters and 30 genitalic characters. Acallepitrix nitens arose within the North American Epitrix, suggesting generic revision is required. The Palearctic species E. pubescens is found to have arisen within the North American Epitrix, suggesting either a New World origin for the group, or multiple introductions from the Old World. Multiple origins or losses of host shifting are found in the evolutionary history of the group, suggesting that host shifting has a high evolutionary rate of change. Further molecular analysis and increased global sampling are needed to support these results.

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