Journeys within the Leucophoropterini: Revision of the Tribe, Genera and Species, and Description of New Genera and Species from Australia and the Indo-Pacific
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The tribe Leucophoropterini (Miridae: Phylinae) is a diverse assemblage of primarily Indo-Pacific and Australian bugs which are united by simple, small genitalia and a trend towards ant-mimetic body forms. Previous to this work, the relationship of the Leucophoropterini to the other tribes of Phylinae, as well as the generic relationships within the lineage, was unresolved. Further, the characters initially proposed to unite the tribe are brought into question with the addition of several recently discovered taxa from Australia. The Leucophoropterini is first re-evaluated within a phylogenetic analysis of the subfamily Phylinae, using a combined molecular and morphological dataset to test the monophyly of the lineage, re-test the character synapomorphies supporting it, and to determine the closest relatives to the tribe. The molecular dataset includes 4 genes (COII, 16S, 28S, and 18S), and 123 morphological characters for 104 taxa, which is analyzed in a parsimony analysis using Tree analysis using New Technology [TNT], a model-based analysis in RAxML, and a Bayesian analysis in Mr. Bayes. All three methods resulted in phylogenetic trees with nearly identical generic and tribal groupings, and a lineage containing Pseudophylus Yasunaga, Decomia Poppius and Tuxedo Schuh being sister-group to the Leucophoropterini. With the closest relatives to the Leucophoropterini determined for outgroup selection, a generic revision of the tribe including both Australian and Indo-Pacific taxa is accomplished using 137 morphological characters and is analyzed in an un-weighted and implied weighted parsimony analysis using TNT for 86 leucophoropterine taxa. The Indo-Pacific taxa of Leucophoropterini are found to be related to the Australian Leucophoropterini, and at least two genera within the tribe (Sejanus Distant, Leucophoroptera Poppius) were found to be paraphyletic. Lastly, taxa are revised within the context of the generic-level phylogenetic analysis, with new genera and species from Australia and the Indo-Pacific being described.
Menard, Katrina Louise (2011). Journeys within the Leucophoropterini: Revision of the Tribe, Genera and Species, and Description of New Genera and Species from Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from