Revision of Physoderinae and Physoderes





Physoderinae are a small subfamily (14 genera, 64 spp.) of Reduviidae with a peculiar biogeographic distribution. They occur in the Neotropics (2 spp.), the Oriental/Australasian region (37 spp.) and Madagascar (25 spp.). While most Oriental/Australasian species are morphologically similar, the endemic Malagasy species exhibit a relatively high morphological diversity, representing 11 out of the 14 described genera. Additional work (eg. more comprehensive illustrations, assigning diagnostic characters) is required in this subfamily as species described by Villiers and Miller were not well-documented.

Physoderes consists of 36 species distributed across South-east Asia and the Pacific region. Miller's description (1940, 1941), many based on singletons, are not tested subsequently and a comprehensive key is absent. An updated revision on this genus is needed to include improved documentation of the species, identify possible synonymies and potential new species.


Research objectives

1. Produce a modern monograph of Physoderes.

i. Revise described species by Miller and include new species.

2. Test phylogenetic relationships within Physoderinae, using both morphological characters and molecular data.

i. Test proposed basal position of Neotropical species with respect to remaining species.

ii. Test monophyly of Malagasy Physoderinae.



SEM Images on MorphBank(click on images)