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Title: Viable progeny from crosses between geographically isolated populations of Podisus (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) indicate a single species

item Coudron, Thomas
item MEEDS, ANDREW - University Of Missouri
item BAILEY, CORNELL - University Of Missouri
item Meihls, Lisa

Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/11/2015
Publication Date: 12/20/2015
Citation: Coudron, T.A., Meeds, A., Bailey, C., Meihls, L.N. 2015. Viable progeny from crosses between geographically isolated populations of Podisus (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) indicate a single species. Southwestern Entomologist. 40: 677-689. 2015.

Interpretive Summary: Recording the existence and migration of insects is critical to understanding ecological niches that species are able to inhabit and their impact on agricultural activity in those niches. This is equally important for beneficial insects as well as for pest insects. A beneficial insect, the spined soldier bug, that was thought not to occur west of the Rocky Mountains was recently collected in California. Visual comparisons and mating crosses were performed on individuals from California and eastern populations. Although some differences were found in the appearances of individuals from the two populations, the success of mating crosses provided compelling evidence that both populations were comprised of spined soldier bugs. This verified the presence of the species west of the Rocky Mountains and confirmed the ability of the spined soldier bug to adapt to, and survive, west of the Rocky Mountains. This discovery will expand the use of the beneficial insect to regions west of the Rocky Mountains and will enable use of the genetic traits in the western population for breeding programs focused on enhancing the effectiveness of biological control.

Technical Abstract: Discrepancies in reports on the presence of Podisus maculiventris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in the western region of USA, and morphological variations of the species brought into question whether the species existed west of the Rocky Mountains. In this study, morphological variations in color and size were observed between two geographically isolated populations from Missouri and California. Differences were determined in color, weight, and size measurements. However, all crosses and backcrosses produced viable progeny of both genders and the crosses were maintained as inbred lines for 16 generations. These results indicate the two populations are closely related.