Phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary patterns of the genus Psammolestes (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) Thesis

short description

  • Undergraduate thesis

Thesis author

  • Alvarado Lopez, Mateo Andrés

external tutor

  • Hernandez, Diana Carolina
  • Ramírez, Juan David
  • Salazar, Camilo
  • Salgado-Roa, Fabian Camilo


  • The family Reduviidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) is among the most diverse families of the true bugs. The evolution and phylogenetic relationships of Rhodniini and Triatomini tribes (Triatominae) are well studied due to their epidemiological relevance as vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes the Chagas disease. Rhodniini is composed by the genera Rhodnius and Psammolestes, where the genetic diversity of the second one remains to be studied in comparison with Rhodnius, the main vector of T. cruzi. Therefore, we gathered 92 samples in total, 38 for Psammolestes arthuri in Colombia, 24 for Psammolestes tertius and 30 for Psammolestes coreodes in Brazil. We used five novel nuclear loci: tRNA Guanine (37) -N (1) methyl transferase (TRNA), Putative juvenile hormone inducible protein (PJH), Probable cytosolic iron sulfur protein assembly protein Ciao 1 (CISP), Lipoyl synthase, mitochondrial (LSM) and Uncharacterized protein for cell adhesion (UPCA), along with two previously reported loci: 28S and CYTB, to depict the phylogenetic relationships and the evolutionary patterns of the genus Psammolestes. Four of the seven gene topologies were not consistent with the concatenated topology, while the other three were concordant, but the general pattern is clear: Psammolestes is a monophyletic group, corroborating hypotheses previously suggested for the genus. Clustering analysis along with population genetics summary statistics resulted in the delimitation of three different populations. These three clusters corresponded to each one of the Psammolestes species known a priori -defined by morphology, ecology and cytogenetic methods- which suggests that populations for each one of the species has a well-supported genetic structure. Overall, our results corroborated the existence of the three previously described Psammolestes species, 4 showing that they probably diverged in allopatry, under the influence of the Guyana shield and the Amazon basin as barriers to dispersal

publication date

  • February 3, 2021 4:09 PM


  • Development and proliferation niche of the Psammolestes
  • Environmental variables
  • Genetics of insect populations
  • Geographical evolution
  • Molecular phylogenetic analysis

Document Id

  • 579cd6da-f790-450e-b964-ee4d7cc2ce70