Gregory Dahlem (Committee Member), David Goldstein (Committee Member), Thomas Rooney (Committee Member), John Stireman (Advisor)
Master of Science (MS)
The neotropics harbor an enormous diversity of tachinid flies, yet the fauna remains poorly known. The tribe Blondeliini is particularly diverse in this region and desperately needs taxonomic attention. Here, I present a revision of the neotropical genus Erythromelana Townsend including the redescription of three previously described species and the description of 11 new species. Two species previously assigned into this genus, are resurrected as distinct genera. Erythromelana species are widely distributed from southern Mexico to northern Argentina, with the Andes being a hotspot of diversity. Erythromelana are specialized on geometrids in the genus Eois, which mainly feed on plants in the genus Piper. I constructed a morphological database (N=210), and used these data along with DNA sequence data to define taxa and infer phylogenetic relationships. The phylogeny, biology and patterns of diversity of Erythromelana are examined.
Department or Program
Department of Biological Sciences
Year Degree Awarded
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