Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification

Taxonomic revision of the Nearctic erosa species group of Phymata Latreille, 1802 (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Phymatinae)

CJAI 41 -- October 1, 2020

Paul Masonick & Christiane Weirauch

| Abstract | Introduction | Checklist | Materials & Methods | Species Key | Taxonomy | Acknowledgments | References | PDF | Cite |
| Appendix |
  Phymata mystica Evans, 1931 stat. restit.
    Figs 11A–E, 20I. Map 9.

Phymata mystica Evans, 1931
Evans, 1931: p717 (original description)
Phymata fasciata mystica Evans, 1931
Kormilev, 1962: p409 (revision); Henry and Froeschner, 1988: p603 (catalog); Froeschner and Kormilev, 1989: p52 (catalog)

Diagnosis: Recognized from other species of the Nearctic erosa group by the following combination of characters: (1) deep lateral notch, (2) integument lacking elongated setaceous granulation, (3) the prominent, sharply projecting pronotal angles with an exceptionally acute posterior angle that rises nearly to the height/width of the lateral angle, (3) anterior pronotal lobe crenulated and not keeled, and (4) broadly dilated abdomen with laterally expanded connexivum of abdominal segment 5.

Redescription: Male: Medium to large, total length: ~7.73–8.72 mm, width across lateral angles of pronotum: ~3.16–3.43 mm. STRUCTURE: HEAD (Fig. 11A): distiflagellomere of male shorter than pedicel + basiflagellomere. THORAX (Figs 11A,C,D, 20I): thoracic surface matte; anterior pronotal disk without elongated setaceous granulation; posterior pronotal disk punctate; area between lateral pronotal notch and longitudinal carina of the posterior pronotal either with diffuse granulation or devoid of granulation; longitudinal carina with prominent knoblike tubercle; lateral margin of anterior pronotal lobe keeled and semicircular; lateral notch deep; lateral margin of pronotum from lateral notch to lateral angle smooth or with light crenulation; lateral angle prominent and acute; posterior angle prominent and acute; lateral surface of forefemur smooth or sparsely granulated; lateral surface of thorax smooth or sparsely granulated; forewing membrane brown, cloudy, never hyaline. ABDOMEN (Fig. 11B): posterior corners of connexiva of abdominal segments 2–4 strongly serrate or dentiform; lateral margins of connexiva of abdominal segments 4–5 sinuous; lateral margins of connexiva of abdominal segments 3–6 with or without fine granulation; connexivum of abdominal segment 5 twice as wide as connexivum of abdominal segment 4; connexivum of abdominal segment 6 trapezoidal, anterior margin roughly twice as wide as posterior margin. COLORATION (Figs 11A–D): variable; anterior pronotal lobe usually with dark marking; forefemur pale, never darkened; corium with a conspicuous transverse band. Female: Medium to large, total length: ~8.63–9.67 mm, width across lateral angles of pronotum: ~3.40–3.75 mm. COLORATION (Figs 11A,B,E): with similar color patterns as males but usually lighter-colored overall.

Biology: Phymata mystica has been found on Bidens L. (Asteraceae), Solidago L. (Asteraceae), Melilotus Mill. (Fabaceae), and Ceanothus L. (Rhamnaceae). Adults can be observed and/or collected year-round. Specimens have been collected at elevations ranging between 2–122 m above sea level.

Distribution: Found primarily in Florida, some specimens have been collected from Alabama (see Clem et al. 2019), Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. This species ranges as far south as the Florida Keys.

Identification remarks: Phymata mystica cooccurs with two other erosa group taxa with which it may be confused, P. fasciata and P. pennsylvanica. Additional characters that help separate P. mystica from these taxa include: (1) dentiform posterior corners of connexiva of abdominal segments 2–4 (compare with P. pennsylvanica), (2) lack of dark pigmentation on the forecoxa and forefemur (compare with male P. fasciata), (3) absence of a dense granulation patch on the pronotum mesad to the lateral notch (compare with P. fasciata), (4) the knoblike tubercle of the pronotal carina of generally more slender than that of P. fasciata, and (5) the lateral and posterior pronotal angles are usually more acute and pronounced than that of these other two species.

Type information: The holotype is deposited in the Illinois Natural History Survey Insect Collection but only the paratypes listed below were examined for this revision.
HOLOTYPE: Phymata mystica Evans, 1931: Male: USA: Florida: Pinellas Co.: Dunedin, 12 Apr 1915, W. S. Blatchley, (INHS).
PARATYPES: USA: Florida: Hillsborough Co.: Tampa, 28.00000°N, 82.00000°W, Fall 1927, C. O. Bare, 1♀ (UCR_ENT 00070064) (KU). St. Johns Co.: Saint Augustine, 29.89469°N, 81.31452°W, Nov 11 Jan 12, C. T. Brues, 1♀ (UCR_ENT 00079233) (CAS). Georgia: Ware Co.: Okefenokee Swamp, Billy’s Island, 30.80522°N, 82.34040°W, Jun 1912, Unknown, 2♀ (UCR_ENT 00079231, UCR_ENT 00079232) (CAS).

Additional material examined: See Appendix; 96 specimens, including 54 adult males and 40 adult females.