The assassin bug genus Rasahus Amyot & Serville (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Peiratinae) comprises 26 Neotropical species. A cladistic analysis of the genus was carried out using 63 characters from external morphology, body vestiture, and male and female genitalia, with the species considered as terminal taxa. The analysis yielded 149 equally parsimonious cladograms, each with 206 steps, CI = 0.35, and RI = 0.60; the successive weighting procedure resulted in eight cladograms (CI = 0.79 and RI = 0.91). In the strict consensus cladogram, two major clades are delimited: one comprising the species R. rufiventris, R. hamatus, R. arcitenens, R. arcuiger, R. amapaensis, R. thoracicus, R. biguttatus, R. argentinensis, R. limai, R. grandis, and R. angulatus; and the other with R. castaneus, R. aeneus, R. scutellaris, R. maculipennis, R. brasiliensis, R. sulcicollis, R. surinamensis, R. albomaculatus, R. guttatipennis, R. atratus, R. peruensis, R. costarricensis, R. bifurcatus, R. flavovittatus, and R. paraguayensis. A cladistic biogeographic analysis of the provinces of the Neotropical subregion, considering distributional data of the species of Rasahus and three other genera of Peiratinae (Eidmannia, Melanolestes, and Thymbreus) was carried out. Four general area cladograms were obtained applying programs COMPONENT 2.0 and TASS. The most parsimonious general area cladogram (= implying fewer items of error) was obtained with COMPONENT 2.0 minimizing the number of leaves added, and shows the sequence (Desierto, (Caatinga, (Cerrado, (Chacoan, (Caribbean, Amazonian), (Paranaense, Atlantic))))). This sequence of area relationships is congruent with the history previously hypothesized for the subregion, where the development of an open vegetated diagonal (comprising the Chacoan, Cerrado, and Caatinga provinces) due to the aridification induced by the gradual uplift of the Andes, separated the former Amazonian forest in a northwestern part (Caribbean plus Amazonian provinces) and a southeastern part (Paranaense plus Atlantic provinces).

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Zoologische Mededelingen

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Naturalis journals & series

Morrone, J.J, & Coscarón, M. del C. (1998). Cladistics and biogeography of the assassin bug genus Rasahus Amyot & Serville (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Peiratinae). Zoologische Mededelingen, 72, 1-10, 73–87.