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Student Research Projects

Comparative study of cosmetid harvestmen from the genera Eupoecilaema and Meterginus (Opiliones, Laniatores) from Central America

Student Richard Page ‘14
Faculty Mentor(s) Dr. Victor Townsend
Department Biology
Course Biology 489: Research Methods in the Natural Sciences

Abstract

The taxonomy of Central American species of cosmetid harvestmen remains locked in a relative unresolved state, with most genera still defined by relatively few, superficial somatic characters. In this study, I examined adult males and females representing seven species for the genera Eupoecilaema and Meterginus, including specimens of four described and three undescribed species. My investigation included a comparison of fifty two morphological characters. Structure that exhibited interspecific variation included armature and shape of the dorsal scutum along with the tubercles on the femur of the pedipap, and armature of the chelicerae. The meristic data that I collected in this project will be combined with previously collected morphometric data as well as characters derived from SEM-based examinations of genitalia to re-describe current taxa and formally describe several new species.

 

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