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Phylogenetic systematics of Scrapter (Hymenoptera: Anthophila: Colletidae).

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Scrapter Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau & Audinet-Serville, 1828 (Hymenoptera: Aculeatea: Anthophila: Colletidae) is a genus of solitary bees largely endemic to southern Africa. This dissertation investigated the phylogenetic systematics of the genus. Eleven new species of Scrapter are described, principally from the Succulent Karoo biome of South Africa, bringing the total number of species in the genus to 42. An updated dichotomous key to facilitate identification is provided. The previously unknown females of S. albifumus Eardley and S. amplispinatus Eardley are also described. The genus is recorded from outside southern Africa for the first time with the collection of S. nitidus (Friese) in Kenya. This constitutes a significant range extension of the genus. The taxonomic status of five species described by Cockerell in 1944, and subsequently overlooked, is addressed. They are all found to be synonyms of other Scrapter species, except one, which is found to be a Ctenoplectrina species (Apidae: Apinae: Ctenoplectrini). The new synonymies are: S. subincertus Cockerell = S. niger Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau & Audinet-Serville; S. brunneipennis Cockerell = S. niger Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau & Audinet-Serville; S. merescens Cockerell = S. leonis Cockerell; S. sinophilus Cockerell = S. algoensis (Friese). Scrapter ugandica Cockerell becomes Ctenoplectrina ugandica (Cockerell) as a new combination. Investigation of selected morphological features (e.g. postmentum, facial fovea, galea) revealed much diversity in Scrapter. The monophyly of Scrapter is not supported by unambiguous apomorphies, but is defensible by the congruence of various qualitative characters (e.g. premental fovea, T2 fovea, hindleg and sternal scopa in [females], two submarginal cells). A cladistic analysis using 25 morphological characters recovered numerous most parsimonious trees under both equal- and successive-weighting. To aid in resolution, several taxa known from only one sex or from very limited material, and with many unknown states, were deleted from the matrix. Analysis using this reduced matrix under equal- and successive-weighting resulted in better resolution, although with low consistency index values. Several subclades were common to both cladograms, and likely represent monophyla. The low consistency indices and general lack of unique synapomorphies upholding these subclades, however, dictated against making any classificatory re-arrangements.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2006.


Bees--Africa, Southern., Scrapter species., Scrapter species--Phylogeny., Scrapter species--Identification., Scrapter species--Classification., Scrapter species--Morphology., Colletidae., Scrapter nitidus--Kenya., Ctenoplectrina ugandica., Karoo--Ecology., Theses--Entomology.