Publication details

Abdominal sternites and their trichobothria in the true bug superfamily Pyrrhocoroidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera)



Year of publication 2017
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description The pregenital abdomen, fairly conservative in its evolutionary modifications, may yield useful clues for understanding phylogenetic relationships in insects (e.g., Sweet 1996: Studies on Hemipteran Phylogeny: 119–158). One of important abdominal structures in Heteroptera (true bugs) are trichobothria: filiform sensilla with a mechanoreceptory function, responsive to air currents and low-frequency sounds or medium vibrations (Keil 1997: Microsc. Res. Tech. 39: 506–531). The pattern of trichobothria distribution on the abdomen has been known as an useful character for higher systematics of Heteroptera: Pentatomomorpha which also includes Pyrrhocoroidea with its two families, Largidae and Pyrrhocoridae (fire bugs, red bugs or cotton stainers). However, in Pyrrhocoroidea, the abdomen and its trichobothria were only poorly studied previously. We have examined representatives of 63 genera of Pyrrhocoroidea (out of 69 currently recognized), as well as a few outgroup taxa from six families of Coreoidea and Lygaeoidea, which represent the sister groups to Pyrrhocoroidea. Most of the specimens were examined as dry-mounted under optical stereomicroscope and ventro-lateral views of the abdomen were illustrated for several dozens of taxa. Our work represents the first morphological study comparing the vast majority of taxa in Pyrrhocoroidea and uses trichobothrial positions on the adult abdomen for the first time in Heteroptera also for intergeneric comparisons. However, the set of characters examined alone is insufficient to resolve phylogenetic relationships within Pyrrhocoroidea in detail. Further research is also needed to test the monophyly of the groups recognized.
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