Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Plants, Soils, and Insects

Major Professor

John K. Moulton

Committee Members

Ernest C. Bernard, Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes, Randall L. Small


The eastern Nearctic fauna of Blepharicera Macquart (Diptera: Blephariceridae) is revised to include twenty-three species, six of which are new to science. Descriptions of the larvae, pupae, and adults of B. amnicula n. sp., B. conifera n. sp., B. crista n. sp., B. enoristera n. sp., B. hillabee n. sp., and B. opistera n. sp. are presented. Keys to instar IV larvae, pupae, and adults of all eastern Blepharicera (except B. caudata Courtney) are provided. Phylogenetic studies were conducted to determine the relationships between eastern and western Nearctic Blepharicera and among species within these groups. Larvae, pupae, and adults were available for all known Nearctic species except B. caudata and B. micheneri Alexander. Molecular data acquired from two genes and morphological data for 44 characters were used to test previous phylogenetic hypotheses on the historical relationships and biogeography of Nearctic Blepharicera. Analyses using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference were conducted. Resulting phylogenies support monophyly of the B. tenuipes and B. micheneri groups and suggest that multiple species complexes may exist within the B. tenuipes group.

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Included in

Entomology Commons