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REVISION OF THE GENUS PHILOLITHUS (TENEBRIONIDAE: PIMELIINAE: ASIDINI)

thesis
posted on 2024-04-18, 18:24 authored by Martha Elise DrakeMartha Elise Drake

Philolithus is a genus of large, charismatic darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae) with 18 species found throughout the western portion of North America. Despite many species exhibiting mass emergence events as well as the large size of many of these species, much is unknown about this genus. Philolithus has had a number of taxonomic changes over the last century, a comprehensive revision of the genus was not conducted. In chapter 1, I conducted a species-level revision of Philolithus based on a comprehensive list analysis of external adult morphological characteristics. Based on the results of the study, I proposed the following synonymies, valid names listed in parenthesis “()”; P. pantex (= P. actuosus), P. haruspex (= P. actuosus), P. uteanus (= P. actuosus), P. rugosus (= P. actuosus), P. jageri (= P. actuosus), P. adversus (= P. actuosus), P. reflexus (= P. actuosus), P. porcatus (= P. actuosus), P. opimus (= P. actuosus), P. quadripennis (= P. carinatus), and P. sophistes (= P. carinatus). Four new species are also described: Philolithus rotundus sp. nov., Philolithus zukomollis sp. nov., Philolithus clarki sp. nov., and Philolithus dorsoplanus sp. nov. Revised taxonomic keys were created for the subgenera of Philolithus, the species of the subgenera Glyptasida and Philolithus, and the subspecies of the monophyletic subgenus Gonasida based on Dr. Kirby Brown’s unpublished dissertation (Brown, 1971a).

In chapter 2, I performed phylogenetic analyses of Philolithus using targeting enrichment, and Sanger sequenced data for the following mitochondrial loci: 12S, 16S, atp6, atp8, cob, cox1, cox2, coc3, nad1, nad2, nad3, nad4, nad5, nad6 and the nuclear ribosomal 28S gene. Recovered topologies support the monophyly of Philolithus from outgroup Asidini genera, as well as the monophyly and species concepts of the subgenera of the genus.

History

Degree Type

  • Master of Science

Department

  • Entomology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Aaron Smith

Additional Committee Member 2

Scott McAdam

Additional Committee Member 3

Stephen Cameron

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