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Two new ectoparasitic species of Aulacothrips Hood, 1952 (Thysanoptera: Heterothripidae) associated with ant-tended treehoppers (Hemiptera)


Aulacothrips Hood, 1952 is a remarkable South American genus of ectoparasitic thrips which feed on gregarious ant-tended hemipterans (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). Here we describe two new species of this genus infesting membracid treehoppers in Colombia and Brazilian Amazon, and provide a key to the five Aulacothrips spp. now recognised. Aulacothrips levinotus n. sp. is unique in having pronotum with only two pairs of major setae; and Aulacothrips tenuis n. sp. has unusually long abdominal tergite IX. These findings will be helpful for understanding the species diversification in this genus, bringing a new perspective on the diversity of Aulacothrips spp. and their myrmecophilous hemipteran hosts.

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We are grateful to Sebastian Sendoya for his help in the field work in Colombia, and to Olivia Evangelista for her help with treehopper identifications. Financial support was provided by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. LAK was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP 10/51340-8) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES 3200-14-0).

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Correspondence to Adriano Cavalleri.

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Cavalleri, A., Kaminski, L.A. Two new ectoparasitic species of Aulacothrips Hood, 1952 (Thysanoptera: Heterothripidae) associated with ant-tended treehoppers (Hemiptera). Syst Parasitol 89, 271–278 (2014).

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