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  1. Floritettixare endemic to the North American Coastal Plain. Here I describe a new species,Floritettix phloxsp. nov., from the Bombing Range Ridge in central Florida. This species appears to be restricted to the heavily burned scrub habitat on this small ridge. This species is described based on morphological and biogeographical evidence.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 10, 2024
  2. Melanoplus discolorandMelanoplus kendalliwere previously placed in thetexanusspecies group. Here seven new species are described from central Texas and the combined nine species placed into thediscolorgroup based on emergence time and shape of the male terminalia and genital structures. Six of these new species are from the Edwards Plateau, a known area of high endemism. Species of thediscolorgroup are inhabitants of shortgrass or mixed-grass prairies, Ashe juniper or oak savannas.

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  3. Gymnoscirtetes is endemic to the southeastern portion of the North American Coastal Plain and previously comprised two species: G. pusillus Scudder, 1897 and G. morsei Hebard, 1918. Here, this genus is revised based on male genital morphology and geographic data, and four new species are described: G. georgiaensis sp. nov. , G. pageae sp. nov. , G. rex sp. nov. , and G. wadeorum sp. nov. Gymnoscirtetes is primarily associated with mesic grasslands such as pitcher plant bogs, flatwoods, and the edges of seasonal ponds, but can be found less commonly in a variety of other grasslands. 
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  5. Abstract

    Rapid speciation events, with taxa generated over a short time period, are among the most investigated biological phenomena. However, molecular systematics often reveals contradictory results compared with morphological/phenotypical diagnoses of species under scenarios of recent and rapid diversification. In this study, we used molecular data from an average of over 29 000 loci per sample from RADseq to reconstruct the diversification history and delimit the species boundary in a short‐winged grasshopper species complex (Melanoplus scudderigroup), where Pleistocene diversification has been hypothesized to generate more than 20 putative species with distinct male genitalic shapes. We found that, based on a maximum likelihood molecular phylogeny, each morphological species indeed forms a monophyletic group, contrary to the result from a previous mitochondrial DNA sequence study. By dating the diversification events, the species complex is estimated to have diversified during the Late Pleistocene, supporting the recent radiation hypothesis. Furthermore, coalescent‐based species delimitation analyses provide quantitative support for independent genetic lineages, which corresponds to the morphologically defined species. Our results also showed that male genitalic shape may not be predicted by evolutionary distance among species, not only indicating that this trait is labile, but also implying that selection may play a role in character divergence. Additionally, our findings suggest that the rapid speciation events in this flightless grasshopper complex might be primarily associated with the fragmentation of their grassland habitats during the Late Pleistocene. Collectively, our study highlights the importance of integrating multiple sources of information to delineate species, especially for a species complex that diversified rapidly, and whose divergence may be linked to ecological processes that create geographic isolation (i.e. fragmented habitats), as well as selection acting on characters with direct consequences for reproductive isolation (i.e. genitalic divergence).

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