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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Plant Science

First Advisor

Paul J. Johnson


Among bees of the tribe Caupolicanini, those in the genus Ptiloglossa are the most taxonomically diverse. The genus is inadequately defined, and the known species are poorly understood taxonomically. Many species are known only as males or females, and are relatively uncommon in museum collections. This project explored the diversity of the bee genus Ptiloglossa Smith through a comprehensive morphological study, attempting to provide a basis for a more complete taxonomic revision of its species and proposing an hypothesis of their phylogenetic relationships. Results of this study include one new species from Colombia: P. colombiana n. sp. Ptiloglossa wilmattae Cockerell, 1949 is determined to be a synonym of P. thoracica (Fox, 1895). The primary types of P. aculeata, P. aenigmatica, P. amita, P. buchwaldi, P. chamelensis, P. concinna, P. costaricana, P. cyaniventris, P.decora, P. dubia, P. eximia, P. fulvopilosa, P. generosa, P. goffergei, P. hemileuca, P. hondurasica, P. hoplopoda, P.immixta, P. lanosa, P. latecalcarata, P, magretti, P. olivacea, P. ollantayi, P. pallida, P. psednozona, P. rugata, P. stafuzzai, P. styphlaspis, P. tenuimarginata, P. torquata, P. trichrootricha, P. willinki, P. wilmattae, P. xanthorhina and P. xanthotricha were examined and each species re-described. Previous taxonomical work done on the genus considers mostly integumental and pubescence coloration patterns. This study proposed new external characters to separate species. A separated key to identify males and females of Ptiloglossa is presented. Six groups of species are defined based on abdominal coloration and pubescence. Although the phylogenetic analyses recovered the genus as a monophyletic clade, it is still necessary to propose new characters from internal morphology to help explain the relationships among species. Crawfordapis is recovered as the sister group of Ptiloglossa and Caupolicana is the sister of both. These results supported the monophyly of Caupolicanini bees. However, a more comprehensive study is necessary to elucidate the relationships among Caupolicanini bees; this can be done by including representatives of as many species as possible from both sexes. Molecular study is necessary to solve more clearly the phylogenetic relationships among Ptiloglossa species and also to help with the association of sexes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bees -- Morphology Bees -- Phylogeny Caupolicana


Includes bibliographical references (pages 313-321)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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