Mound, Laurence A., 2013, Species diversity in the Palaeotropical leaf-litter genus Apelaunothrips (Thysanoptera, Phlaeothripinae), Zootaxa 3741 (1), pp. 181-193 : 183

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https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.3741.1.7

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Apelaunothrips View in CoL generic relationships

The character state by which membership of Apelaunothrips is recognized involves the width of the maxillary stylets (Okajima 1979). Species of the subfamily Idolothripinae apparently feed on large fungal spores, and the width of the maxillary stylets in such thrips varies from 5 to 10 microns between species. In contrast, the species of Phlaeothripinae have stylets that are scarcely 3 microns in diameter. Within this subfamily, the members of Apelaunothrips are unusual because the stylets are about 4 to 6 microns in diameter, and Okajima (1984), in discussing the systematic position of the genus, pointed out that the species apparently feed on small spores. Many of the character states of Apelaunothrips are shared with the hyphal-feeding species of Hoplandrothrips, as defined by Mound & Tree (2013). In particular, the “intermediate setae” (iS) that arise on the ninth tergite between setal pairs S1 and S2 are unusually long, and this occurs in several species of Hoplandrothrips as well as the species of the related genus Adraneothrips (Dang et al. 2013) . Males of Apelaunothrips do not have a pore plate on the eighth sternite, and although this is true for some species in both Adraneothrips and Hoplandrothrips other species in these two genera have well-developed pore plates. Mound & Palmer (1983), in recognizing a distinct Tribe Apelaunothripini, implied that Apelaunothrips is only distantly related to these two genera. However, a more likely possibility is that the stylet condition among Apelaunothrips species is associated with a secondary reversal to spore-feeding amongst a lineage derived from within, or from a shared ancestor of, Hoplandrothrips.

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