Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Biological Science



First Advisor

Brice P Noonan

Second Advisor

Louis G. Zachos

Third Advisor

Ryan Garrick

Relational Format



Twenty-two species and subspecies of Serica occur in Mexico. Serica ensenada Saylor, 1948 is recognized as a junior synonym of Serica pilifera Horn, 1894. Two new species, Serica ascia Lago & Worthington and Serica fenestra Lago & Worthington are described from Mexico. Three genera of Sericini are recorded from Canada, Maladera castanea (Arrow), Nipponoserica peregrina (Chapin), and twelve species of Serica. Seventy-seven species and subspecies of Serica occur in the contiguous United States west of the 100th meridian. Eleven new species, Serica berriani Lago & Worthington, Serica cuneiverpa Lago & Worthington, Serica desolaterra Lago & Worthington, Serica katelinae Lago & Worthington, Serica kerni Lago & Worthington, Serica mescaleroensis Lago & Worthington, Serica occasumancra Lago & Worthington, Serica onyx Lago & Worthington, Serica parashantiana Lago & Worthington, Serica popula Lago & Worthington, and Serica relicta Lago & Worthington, are described from the contiguous United States west of the 100th meridian. Descriptions, illustrations, temporal distribution, natural history information, and distribution maps for all species are presented. Two molecular phylogenies of 66 sampled Serica taxa constructed from mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene sequences from 184 individuals were estimated to assess species diagnoses and determine intra- and interspecific variation within North American Serica. Intraspecific sequence variation for North American Serica ranged from 0.3% to 25.3% sequence divergence respectively, while average interspecific sequence divergence for Serica was 14.7%. Bayesian and maximum likelihood trees had generally poor topological support, however under Bayesian inference distinct eastern and western species groups were recovered. However, a single monophyletic western species complex rendered the eastern North American species group paraphyletic.

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