Aziz Zahri, Nabil Errabhi, Wafae Squalli, Ismail Mansouri, Nabil Radouane, Said Ezrari, Houria Nekhla, Lazraq Abderrahim, Lahsen EL Ghadraoui

Geometric morphometrics of three species of the genus Dociostaurus (Orthoptera: Acrididae) from the Middle Atlas of Morocco

Abstract The genus Dociostaurus includes at least five species in the Mediterranean Basin. Some of them can damage agricultural fields and pastures. However, these species are almost not characterised by quantitative traits. To fill this gap, we used the geometric morphometrics method to characterise different morphological structures and flying organs of the most observed species of the genus Dociostaurus, namely D. maroccanus (Thunb, 1815), D. dantini (Bolivar, 1914), and D. genei (Ocskay, 1832), in Morocco. Results revealed that D. maroccanus has greater dispersal structures and other body organs, which are suggested to play a direct role in flying performance. On the contrary, D. dantini and D. genei, known as wandering species, have tiny structures, principally the tegmina and wings used for limited flights. In addition to their importance in the characterisation of studied species, these measurements could be used as a practical tool in their identification, particularly where the use of genetic approaches is not possible. Similarly, these results could serve as the first data for the implementation of potential comparative studies and population management of these pest species, especially D. maroccanus. Finally, further morphometric studies will be needed to create a database for taxonomic identification.


Keywords Orthoptera; Acrididae; Dociostaurus; geometric morphometrics; flying structures

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