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Title: Variation in male and female genitalia among ten species of North American Anthocoris (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Anthocoridae)

item Horton, David
item Lewis, Tamera

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2011
Publication Date: 11/23/2011
Citation: Horton, D.R., Lewis, T.M. 2011. Variation in male and female genitalia among ten species of North American Anthocoris (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Anthocoridae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 104(6):1260-1278; DOI:http://DX.DOI.ORG/10.1603/AN11087.

Interpretive Summary: Developing methods to more effectively use predatory insects to control pests in potatoes would allow growers to reduce the amount of insecticides currently being used to control insect and mite pests. Scientists with USDA-ARS, Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA completed studies which provide growers and the scientific community with new tools with which to identify an important group of predatory insects in potatoes and other row crops. Our results showed that several specific body traits can be used to consistently distinguish among important and less important predator species within a complex of predatory insects common in the potato growing regions of the Pacific Northwest. These results provide growers and field consultants with the information needed to identify these predatory insects in crops, which in turn will allow growers to make informed decisions about conserving these important species in their fields.

Technical Abstract: We compared morphology of internal reproductive anatomy and genitalia among 10 species of North American Anthocoris (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Anthocoridae). Reproductive structures of males, including internal reproductive organs (testes, seminal vesicles, ejaculatory bulb, phallus), the left paramere, and the endosoma, were found to vary in size, shape, and appearance among the ten species, although with similarities among species within some groupings. All species except Anthocoris bakeri have two testicular follicles per testis; A. bakeri has five to seven follicles per testis. In seven of the ten species, a longitudinal groove was found to be present along the blade of the paramere, which we believe functions to guide the male’s intromittent organ as it enters the female during copulation. Variation among species in morphology of the male’s inflated endosoma included differences in length, presence or absence of looping, and in presence of spinulate, dentate, or tuberculate projections. The summary presented here is the first description of the endosomata for any species of Anthocoris. We observed substantial variation among species in length of the female’s copulatory tube (i.e., the organ which receives the male’s intromittent organ), although again with some similarities among certain groupings of species. Variation in length of the female’s copulatory tube parallels variation in length of the male’s endosoma, which suggests that morphology of genitalia within this genus has co-evolved between sexes.