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Advances in tortricid systematics and identification (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)




Gilligan, Todd Michael, author
Opler, Paul, advisor
Kondratieff, Boris, advisor
Walters, Terrence, committee member
Brown, John, committee member
Simmons, Mark, committee member

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The Tortricidae is a large family in the microlepidoptera, consisting of more than 10,300 species in 1,070 genera. Many tortricids are considered to be economically important, and the family contains the highest percentage of pest species in the Lepidoptera. This dissertation provides significant advances in tortricid systematics and identification through the implementation of modern technologies such as matrix-based identification keys and molecular phylogenetics. Chapter 2 focuses on Tortricidae threatening U.S. agriculture. The resulting resource, Tortricids of Agricultural Importance (TortAI -, is designed to aid in the identification of tortricid adults encountered during domestic surveys and tortricid larvae encountered during quarantine inspections at U.S. ports of entry. Chapters 3-5 provide details on the three tortricid pests currently of greatest importance to U.S. agriculture: Epiphyas postvittana (Walker), Lobesia botrana ([Denis and Schiffermüller]), and Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick). Chapter 6 details the discovery of a new tortricid species with the potential to threaten avocado production in California. Chapter 7 describes the benefits and disadvantages to using DNA barcoding for identification purposes and outlines a novel DNA sequence search tool developed for use in TortAI. Phylogenetic relationships surrounding Eucosma, the largest genus within the Tortricidae, are examined in chapters 8-9. A molecular phylogeny and revised classification for Eucosma and related genera provide the groundwork for future study of these highly diverse taxa.


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