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The taxonomy and systematics of the bee genus Scrapter (Colletidae: Colletinae: Scraptrini)

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Scrapter is a southern African endemic pollen-collecting genus consisting of 43 described species with 13 species also occurring in neighbouring countries such as Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Classification of Scrapter has been partially investigated using only morphological data set. In this study I reassess previous classification and describe a putative new species which has never been described before, Scrapter leovalis sp. nov. This study aimed at reassessing previous classification of Scrapter using 46 morphological characters and provide a new classification based molecular data; 28SrRNA, EF-1α and Opsin gene. Using phylogenetic methods such as parsimony analysis, maximum likelihood and bayesian analysis classification of Scrapter was possible. However, analyses of morphological characters only did not produce reliable phylogenies due to low branch supports (bootstrap and posterior support). Molecular data was analyzed individually and in supermatrix analyses which produced phylogenetic trees with high branch supports. To see how the morphological and molecular data complemented each other a simultaneous analysis of 28SrRNA EF-1α, Opsin and morphological characters was carried out. Simultaneous analysis produced phylogenetic trees resembling supermatrix trees obtained in the simultaneous analysis of the three genes alone. It was then concluded that morphological characters chosen for this study were not phylogenetically informative.


Master of Science Genetics. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2016.


Theses - Genetics.