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Taxonomy of Saldula: revised genus and species group definitions, and a new species of the pallipes group from Tunisia (Heteroptera: Saldidae)

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A revised diagnosis of the genus Saldula Van Duzee based upon synapomorphic characters of male genitalia and hemelytral pigmentation patterns is given. According to this concept ca. 55% of the species World-wide currently assigned to Saldula will have to be transferred to other genera. Several new characters are employed in the definition of species and species groups. The species attributable to the pallipes species group are listed and supplemented by a brief overview of the taxonomic relationships of the Old World species. Saldula luteola sp. n. is described from coastal salt marshes on the Island of Djerba, Tunisia. It mainly appears in extremely depigmented morphs unparalleled elsewhere in the Saldidae and likely constitutes a sister-species of S. sardoa Filippi. The conspicuous intraspecific variation in body size and hemelytral pigmentation in S. palustris (Douglas), the closest relative of the former species, is depicted and briefly discussed. The descriptive accounts are accompanied by numerous photographic illustrations of somatic and genital characters.

Affiliations: 1: P. Lindskog, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Entomology, P.O. Box 50007, S-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden; 2: J. T. Polhemus, University of Colorado Museum, 3115 S. York, Englewood, Colorado 80110, U.S.A.


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