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The cicada genus Tugelana Distant, 1912 (Hemiptera, Cicadidae): phylogenetic position and conservation status

, Shelley Edwards
Published: 3 August 2021

Abstract: The cicada genus Tugelana Distant, 1912 is monotypic and endemic to south-eastern Africa. Material was not available for a recent molecular phylogeny of its tribe, so its precise phylogenetic placement is unestablished. Consequently, a 627 bp sequence of the cytochrome oxidase gene was obtained and its candidate relatives identified as several species of Platypleura Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843 using the BOLD Identification System and NCBI Genbank’s BLAST. Bayesian inference analyses indicated that the type species, the Maputaland Orangewing Cicada Tugelana butleri Distant, 1912, is closely related to the Dune Koko Orangewing Cicada Platypleura zuluensis Villet, 1989, which has a geographical distribution that is parapatric with T. butleri and which has aberrant genitalia for a member of Platypleura. This pair of species is placed fairly deep within the African clade of Platypleura. We therefore formally recognized Platypleura Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843 as a senior synonym of Tugelana Distant, 1912, syn. nov., and assign T. butleri Distant, 1912 to Platypleura as Platypleura butleri (Distant 1912), comb. nov. The species occurs on the wooded grasslands of the Maputaland coastal plateau east of Lebombo Mountains and south of Maputo Bay. Its Extent of Occurrence is about 6360 km2, which would qualify it as Vulnerable under the IUCN’s classification criteria for conservation status.
Keywords: Africa / cicada / Tugelana Distant / phylogenetic / nov / genus / Orangewing / conservation

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