Taxonomy, Systematics, and Venom Components of Neobisiid Pseudoscorpions (Pseudoscorpiones: Neobisiidae)
AuthorHughes, Garrett Brady
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 06-Sep-2018
AbstractPseudoscorpions are a diverse lineage of arachnids with a rich history of taxonomic study. However, they remain one of the lesser-known groups of arachnids and many questions about these enigmatic arthropods remain. The present work revises the taxonomy and systematics of the family Neobisiidae in the Southwest, documenting the existence of several new species and a hitherto unknown clade from the Sky Island region of southeastern Arizona. It also describes the venom of a pseudoscorpion for the first time, through comparative transcriptomic studies. Seven new species are described and assigned to the genus Globocreagris, extending the known range of this genus from California into Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. The monophyly of the subfamily Neobisiinae was tested using two genes (COI and 28S). Molecular phylogenetic analysis of both genes and the pattern of trichobothrial placement on the chelae supports removing Parobisium from the subfamily Neobisiinae, and placing it within the subfamily Microcreagrinae, a reassignment here made. Although it has long been known that most pseudoscorpions possess venom glands in their pincers which they use to subdue their arthropod prey, the components of the venom have never been identified. Using comparative transcriptomics from the pedipalps of Globocreagris the first putative venom proteins in pseudoscorpions were identified. Putative venom proteins include astacin-like metalloproteases, chitinases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors, phospholipase A2, and scorpion La1-like peptides.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Entomology and Insect Science