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Integrative Insect Taxonomy of Bundera

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Integrative taxonomy is considered a reliable taxonomic approach of closely related and cryptic species by integrating different sources of taxonomic data (genetic, ecological, and morphological characters). In order to infer the boundaries of seven species of the evacanthine leafhopper genus Bundera Distant, 1908 (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), an integrated analysis based on morphology, mitochondrial DNA, and hyperspectral reflectance profiling (37 spectral bands from 411-870nm) was conducted. Despite their morphological similarities, the genetic distances of the cytochromec oxidase subunitI (COI) gene among the tested species are relatively large (5.8-17.3%). The species-specific divergence of five morphologically similar species (Bundera pellucida and Bunderaspp.1-4) was revealed in mitochondrial DNA data and reflectance profiling. A key to identifying males is provided, and their morphological characters are described. Average reflectance profiles from the dorsal side of specimens were classified based on linear discriminant analysis. Cross-validation of reflectance-based classification revealed that the seven species could be distinguished with 91.3% classification accuracy. This study verified the feasibility of using hyperspectral imaging data in insect classification, and our work provides a good example of using integrative taxonomy in studies of closely related and cryptic species.

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