Research Reports: Evaluation of Characters to Distinguish Fitchia Aptera and F. Spinosula (Heteroptera: Reduviidae)

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


Presence or absence of spines, and number of spines (4), on the posterior margin of the pronotum were found to be an unreliable character to distinguish Fitchia aptera and F. spinosula. The morphology of the male parameres and female terminalia, and the color of the abdominal spiracular peritreme, are diagnostic. Other characters were found that, as a group and in combination with presence of spines, are useful in distinguishing the two species but are not diagnostic. These include the lateral anteocular length, lengths and ratios of antennal segments, and width of the lateral abdominal stripe. Brachypterous and macropterous adults are found in both species; brachyptery is more common in F. spinosula than in F. aptera.
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