Forum: Taxonomic Status of Melanolestes Picipes and M. Abdominalis (Heteroptera: Reduviidae)

  • J. E. McPherson
  • S. L. Keffer
  • S. J. Taylor


Melanolestes picipes has been separated from M. abdominalis on the basis of color (black in picipes, red wholly or in part in abdominalis), wing form (macropterous and brachypterous in picipes, macropterous in abdominalis), and size of ocelli (smaller in picipes). Evaluation of these characters showed they were not diagnostic. We also examined the male and female external genitalia and found no consistent differences within sex between the two @'species.@' We therefore conclude that M. abdominalis is not a valid species but is a junior synonym of M. picipes.
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