Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Plants, Soils, and Insects

Major Professor

John Kevin Moulton and William E. Klingeman

Committee Members

John Kevin Moulton, William E. Klingeman, Mark T. Windham and Jason B. Oliver


A brief overview of the importance of wood boring insects is provided. Background on the two wood boring insect families Buprestidae (Coleoptera) and Sesiidae (Lepidoptera) is given. Keys and checklists to Tennessee’s buprestid fauna as presently known are furnished. Photomicrographs depicting characteristics separating Tennessee buprestid taxa to the level of species are provided for select couplets to aid those unfamiliar with buprestid morphology and terminology. Distribution and flight data of many species within the state are also featured. Results of a phylogenetic analysis of the Chrysobothris femorata (Olivier) species complex is presented based on the nuclear gene arginine kinase and the mitochondrial gene cox I. Implications of the resultant phylogenies are discussed. Phylogenetic relationships with the economically important sesiid tribe Synanthedonini are explored using cox I gene sequences. The cox I tree inferred provides interesting new insight into some ambiguous evolutionary relationships. Morphological characters that are used to distinguish genera within Synanthedonini are discussed and compared with the molecular data.

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Included in

Entomology Commons