Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Dead Bugs Do Tell Tales: Examining Genetic Variations in the Maritime Earwig (Anisolabis maritima)
by Keilsohn, William A., M.S., Villanova University, 2019, 55; 13881525
Abstract (Summary)

Invasive species have become an increasingly worrisome problem worldwide. Their proclivity for habitat destruction, biodiversity reduction, and ecosystem service depletion makes their presence especially taxing, as in the U.S they annually cost $120 billion (“Invasives Species–U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” n.d.; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2012). Of note among these invasive is the maritime earwig, Anisolabis maritima, a species in the Order Dermaptera that is believed to have originated from the Mediterranean spread through Europe and Asia, and eventually made it to both coasts of the United States (Bennett, 1904; Gené, 1832). Because the exact pattern of this spread is unknown I attempted to clarify several major uncertainties in the patterns across the United States, most notably in New York. For this investigation I obtained a series of freshly preserved specimens from New Jersey, Washington, New York, Florida, and Japan. Additionally, I borrowed a series of museum specimens to broaden the scope of the investigation. First, by sequencing individuals, my evidence supports the recognition of A. maritima as a single species. Second, by comparing the level of divergence within New York to the level of divergence found in Australia, I found more variation within Long Island than across Australia (Stuart et al., 2019). This suggests, that multiple source populations may be present within New York. In comparing my sequences to other researchers I found that my sequences continue to cluster together, along with other A. maritima sequences, and have a maximum divergence value of 0.029, further supporting the notion that speciation has not occurred. Additionally, my results indicate that the level of variation among my samples is equal to similar species within the same family. Thus, my findings indicate that A. maritima is not only still one species, but has unusually high divergence within the United States suggesting multiple source populations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Iyengar, Vikram K.
Commitee: Jackman, Todd, Bauer, Aaron
School: Villanova University
Department: Biology
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Biology, Genetics, Entomology
Keywords: Dermaptera, Earwig, Genetic, Insect, Maritime, Variations
Publication Number: 13881525
ISBN: 9781085600101
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