Taxonomic delimitation in color polymorphic species of the South American grasshopper genus Diponthus Stål (Orthoptera, Romaleidae, Romaleini)

in Insect Systematics & Evolution
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The South American genus Diponthus Stål comprises species with cryptic and probably aposematic colorations. It belongs to a group of grasshoppers, tribe Romaleini, where color polymorphism is common. Morphometric techniques were used to clarify the taxonomic limits and status of six nominal species of Diponthus: D. permistus (Serville), D. argentinus Pictet & Saussure, D. pycnostictus Pictet & Saussure, D. communis Bruner, D. pictus (Bolivar) and D. schulzi Bruner. Results of cluster (CA) and principal component (PCA) analyses showed that D. pycnostictus can be defined by a unique combination of characters, while the remaining nominal species represent different color morphs of a single taxon, here recognized as D. argentinus. We also used statistical analyses to examine whether the discontinuities in body coloration of the polymorphic D. argentinus could be explained by geographic variation. The distribution patterns of body coloration of D. argentinus do not appear to be restricted to any particular biogeographic region and no character correlation resulted with latitude. Furthermore, the results show that color morphs display high levels of overlap across the geographic range, as well as intra-population variation. We conclude that in D. argentinus body coloration varies considerably across the geographic distribution range but without any noticeable color gradient correlated with the latitude. According to the phylogenetic species concept (PSC) we consider D. pycnostictus Pictet & Saussure and D. argentinus Pictet & Saussure as valid species. The following synonymies are proposed under D. argentinus: D. communis Bruner n. syn., D. schulzi Bruner n. syn., D. pictus (Bolivar) n. syn., and D. permistus (Serville) n. syn. We declare D. permistus (Serville) a nomen oblitum.

Taxonomic delimitation in color polymorphic species of the South American grasshopper genus Diponthus Stål (Orthoptera, Romaleidae, Romaleini)

in Insect Systematics & Evolution

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References

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Figures

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    Biogeographic scheme modified from Cabrera & Willink (1973) indicating the biogeographic provinces considered in this study. Yu, Yungas province; Ch, Chaqueña province; Es, Espinal province; Pm, Pampeana province; Mo, Monte province. This figure is published in colour in the online version of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/1876312x.

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    Dendrogram showing the results of the CA of matrix A (males). A: D. permistus; B: D. argentinus; C: D. pycnostictus; D: D. communis; E: D. schulzi; F: greenish-brown specimens; G: D. pictus. The biogeographic region from where each specimen was collected is indicated as follows: Chaqueña (Ch), Espinal (Es), Monte (Mo), Pampeana (Pm), and Yungas (Yu).

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    Scatterplot showing the results of the PCA of matrix A without D. pycnostictus (males). A: D. permistus; B: D. argentinus; D: D. communis; E: D. schulzi; F: greenish-brown morph; G: D. pictus. The biogeographic region from where each specimen was collected is indicated as follows: Chaqueña (Ch), Espinal (Es), Monte (Mo), Pampeana (Pm), and Yungas (Yu).

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    Dendrogram showing the results of the CA of matrix B (females). A: D. permistus; B: D. argentinus; C: D. pycnostictus; D: D. communis; E: D. schulzi; F: greenish-brown morph; G: D. pictus. The biogeographic region from where each specimen was collected is indicated as follows: Chaqueña (Ch), Espinal (Es), Monte (Mo), Pampeana (Pm), and Yungas (Yu).

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    Scatterplot showing the results of the PCA of matrix B without D. pycnostictus (females). A: D. permistus; B: D. argentinus; D: D. communis; E: D. schulzi; F: greenish-brown morph; G: D. pictus. The biogeographic region from where each specimen was collected is indicated as follows: Chaqueña (Ch), Espinal (Es), Monte (Mo), Pampeana (Pm) and Yungas (Yu).

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    Proportion of the nominal species D. permistus (A); D. argentinus (B); D. schulzi (E); D. pictus (G); and undescribed greenish-brown color morph (F) in each biogeographic region: Chaqueña (Ch), Espinal (Es), Monte (Mo), Pampeana (Pm), and Yungas (Yu).

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    Morphological characters and states used in CA and PCA analyses. Diponthus males. Habitus, lateral (A-F) and dorsal views (G-L). A,G: D. argentinus; B, H: D. permistus; C,I: D. schulzi; D,J: undescribed greenish-brown color morph; E,F,K,L: D. pycnostictus. Scale bar = 1 cm. This figure is published in colour in the online version of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/1876312x.

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    Diponthus males. Species as indicated. (A, B) male distal abdominal segment, lateral view; (C, D) male distal abdominal segment, dorsal view; (E, F) detail of tegmina veins. Abbreviations: C, cerci; E, epiproct; F, furculae. This figure is published in colour in the online version of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/1876312x.

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    Diponthus males. Phallic complex, species as indicated. (A, C) phallic complex, lateral (A) and dorsal (C) views; (B, D) endophallic plates (basal and apical valves of aedeagus) and cingulum, lateral (B) and dorsal (D) views; (E, F) epiphallus, dorsal view; (G, H) distal portion of aedeagal valves, lateral view. Abbreviations: Ap, apodemes of cingulum; Dav, dorsal valves of aedeagus; E, epiphallus; Ep, endophallic plates; L, lophi of epiphallus; Vc, valves of cingulum; Zy, zygoma. This figure is published in colour in the online version of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/1876312x.

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    Morphological characters and states used in CA and PCA analyses. Diponthus males. Head, dorsal (A-F) and lateral views (G-L). A,G: D. argentinus; B, H: D. permistus; C,I: D. schulzi; D,J: color morph greenish-brown; E,F,K,L: D. pycnostictus. This figure is published in colour in the online version of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/1876312x.

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    Morphological characters and states used in CA and PCA analyses. Diponthus males. Pronotum, dorsal (A-F) and lateral views (G-L). A,G: D. argentinus; B, H: D. permistus; C,I: D. schulzi; D,J: color morph greenish-brown; E,F,K,L: D. pycnostictus. This figure is published in colour in the online version of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/1876312x.

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    Geographic distribution of Diponthus argentinus based on specimens with recorded sampling localities only. This figure is published in colour in the online version of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/1876312x.

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    Geographic distribution of Diponthus pycnostictus based on specimens with recorded sampling localities only. This figure is published in colour in the online version of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/1876312x.

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