Date of this Version
Rodriguez, E. J., G. J. Steck, M. R. Moore, A. L. Norrbom, J. Diaz, L. A. Somma, R. Ruiz-Arce, B. D. Sutton, N. Nolazco, A. Muller, & M. A. Branham. 2022. Exceptional larval morphology of nine species of the Anastrepha mucronota species group (Diptera: Tephritidae). ZooKeys1127:155-215.
Anastrepha is the most diverse and economically important genus of Tephritidae in the American tropics and subtropics. The striking morphology of the third instars of Anastrepha caballeroi Norrbom, Anastrepha crebra Stone, Anastrepha haplacantha Norrbom & Korytkowski, Anastrepha korytkowskii Norrbom, Anastrepha nolazcoae Norrbom & Korytkowski, and three newly discovered and as yet formally unnamed species (Anastrepha sp. Peru-82, Anastrepha sp. nr. protuberans, and Anastrepha sp. Sur-16), and the more typical morphology of Anastrepha aphelocentema Stone, are described using light and scanning electron microscopy. To contribute to a better understanding of the interspecific and intraspecific variation among species in the mucronota species group and facilitate phylogenetic studies, we integrate molecular and morphological techniques to confirm the identity and describe third instars. Larva-adult associations and the identification of described larvae were confirmed using DNA barcodes. We provide diagnostic characters to distinguish larvae among these nine species of the mucronota group and separate them from those of the 29 other Anastrepha species previously described. We introduce the vertical comb-like processes on the oral margin as a novel character, and the unusual character states, including position and shape of the preoral lobe, and dentate or fringed posterior margins of the oral ridges and accessory plates. Our comparative morphology concurs with most previously inferred phylogenetic relationships within the mucronota group.