oa African Entomology - A revision of Aphanicercella Tillyard (Plecoptera: Notonemouridae) including the A. barnardi (Tillyard) species-complex



The genus Aphanicercella Tillyard is revised, based on conventional characters of the genitalia. A number of A. barnardi (Tillyard) 'forms' that differ from one another and the other known species of Aphanicercella are distinguished. These are morphologically discrete, and there is no evidence of intermediates. An evaluation of the biological species status of the forms was carried out using mate choice experiments. The results showed clear positive assortative mating within forms, indicative of reproductive isolation between them. Further indications that these forms should be accorded species status derive from the absence of morphological intermediates in the field. The forms are consequently considered to be valid species, with all five new species evidently being closely related. They differ in minor, but consistent features of the male and female genitalia, and have smaller geographical ranges than the other, more morphologically diverse species. They are grouped together with A. barnardi in the A. barnardi species-complex. A key is provided to males of the eleven species.


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