Title

Integrated Taxonomic Assessment Stoneflies (Insecta, Plecoptera) from various Intra-Philippine Biogeographic Regions

Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. rer. nat. Hendrik Freitag; Dr. rer, nat. Crisanto M. Lopez

Abstract

Plecoptera (stoneflies) is a basal Neopteran order of aquatic insects known for its intolerance to organic pollution. Their presence and abundance are important in rapid assessments of water quality in rivers and streams. However, stonefly research in the Philippines is scarce. This study, following the state of the art practices in integrative taxonomy, (1) established clear species identification of new species: Neoperla sp. PH A, Neoperla sp. PH B, and Rhopalopsole sp. PH A; (2) identified closely related species as in the case of Neoperla sp. PH C and Neoperla oculata Banks, 1924; (3) and provided additional, clearly conspecific records of existing taxa i.e. Neoperla sabang Sivec & Stark 2011, Neoperla salakot Sivec & Stark 2011, Neoperla atripennis Banks, 1924, which were also found in new localities and biogeographic regions. This also showed possible conflict in species identification for problematic species like Phanoperla bakeri (Banks, 1924). The taxonomic treatment of other species namely Neoperla recta Banks, 1913, Neoperla sp. “PH D–J” (sensu Sivec 1984), Phanoperla sp. “PH A–D” (sensu Zwick 1982), and Peltoperlopsis sp. “PH A–B” (sensu Jewett 1958) remain to be unresolved and/or unnamed in this study either due to lack of material or the available literature and references are still problematic. For the first time, a new set of primers were used here to successfully amplify stonefly COI mtDNA sequences serving as DNA barcodes. As a result, association of life stages and sexes between and among the recognized species were strongly supported. It is recommended that additional efforts are done in collection and identification of stoneflies using integrative taxonomy to further advance the knowledge on their systematics, zoogeography, and ecology in the Philippines.

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