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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315765

Title: Wheelerodemus muhlenbergiae, a new genus and new species of Blissidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Lygaeoidea) from Oklahoma and Texas

item Henry, Thomas
item SWEET, M. - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2015
Publication Date: 6/12/2015
Citation: Henry, T.J., Sweet, M.H. 2015. Wheelerodemus muhlenbergiae, a new genus and new species of Blissidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Lygaeoidea) from Oklahoma and Texas. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 117(2):151-161.

Interpretive Summary: The true bug family Blissidae, often called chinch bugs, contains about 50 genera and more than 430 species in the world, nearly all of which feed on grasses. Many chinch bugs are among the most economically important groups of true bugs, causing millions of dollars in damages annually in the United States to turf grasses and agricultural crops, especially corn and sorghum in the Midwest. This paper provides the description of a genus and species of chinch bug new to science from Oklahoma and Texas, where it feeds on several native grasses often used in ornamental gardening and land reclamation. Illustrations and photographs of the adults and reproductive structures and an identification key are given to help distinguish this potentially important new chinch bug from other related bugs. This paper will be of interest to all researchers working on insects associated with agricultural crops, ornamentals, and turf and forage grasses.

Technical Abstract: Abstract.— The new blissid genus Wheelerodemus is described to accommodate the new species W. muhlenbergiae, based on specimens collected on the grasses Muhlenbergia lindheimeri and M. reverchonii from the Arbuckle Mountains in southcentral Oklahoma and the Edward’s Plateau in westcentral Texas. Because the size of specimens from Oklahoma appeared consistently smaller than those from Texas, samples from each area were sequenced using the COI barcode region to help determine that only one variable species was involved. Diagnoses, descriptions, a color habitus illustration of the adult male, dorsal and lateral photographs of the adult male and female, photomicrographs of selected structures, illustrations of male and female genitalia, and a key to the U.S. blissid genera are provided to help distinguish this new genus and species from other Blissidae.