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
ZooBank LSID:

Paul Masonick1 & Christiane Weirauch

University of California, Riverside, Department of Entomology, 900 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
1Corresponding author:

| Abstract | Introduction | Checklist | Materials & Methods | Species Key | Taxonomy | Acknowledgments | References | PDF | Cite |
| Appendix |

Ambush bugs of the genus Phymata Latreille, 1802 (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Phymatinae) are some of the most recognizable assassin bugs found in North America. Despite their charismatic morphology and ubiquity, the taxonomy of the Nearctic fauna has not been reviewed in more than half a century. Many species are challenging to identify due to their striking intraspecific variation and sexual dimorphism and only subtle interspecific differences. Considering this difficult taxonomy and that recent molecular phylogenetic studies have demonstrated para- or polyphyly among currently recognized species-level taxa, reclassification is required. Ambush bugs of the Nearctic erosa species group are herein revised. Eleven previously recognized species are redescribed: Phymata americana Melin, 1931; Phymata arctostaphylae Van Duzee, 1914; Phymata borica Evans, 1931; Phymata fasciata (Gray, 1832); Phymata granulosa Handlirsch, 1897; Phymata luteomarginata Kormilev, 1957; Phymata pacifica Evans, 1931; Phymata pennsylvanica Handlirsch, 1897; Phymata rossi Evans, 1931; Phymata saileri Kormilev, 1957; and Phymata salicis Cockerell, 1900. Five subspecies are elevated to species rank and redescribed: Phymata mystica Evans, 1931 stat. restit.; Phymata metcalfi Evans, 1931 stat. restit.; Phymata mexicana Melin, 1931 stat. nov.; Phymata obscura Kormilev, 1957 stat. nov.; and Phymata stanfordi Evans, 1931 stat. nov. One new species from southern California is described: Phymata paraborica sp. nov. Phymata americana coloradensis Melin, 1931 syn. nov., Phymata pacifica hainesi Kormilev, 1962 syn. nov., Phymata granulosa chiriquiensis Melin, 1931 syn. nov., and Phymata granulosa evansi Kormilev, 1962 syn nov. are each synonymized with their respective nominate subspecies. Phymata fasciata panamensis Kormilev, 1962 syn. nov. is synonymized with Phymata mexicana Melin, 1931. Phymata granulosa texasana Kormilev, 1957 syn. nov., is synonymized with Phymata rossi. An illustrated key to ambush bugs of the United States and Canada, detailed diagnoses, habitus images, and distribution maps are provided for all 17 Nearctic erosa species group taxa. Furthermore, we incorporate citizen science observations of ambush bugs from an project with traditional specimen-based data to expand our knowledge of species-level variation and distribution.

Phymata pennsylvanica Handlirsch, 1897 (photo by Nevin Cullen)