Michael A. Patten, Alexandra A. Barnard, and Brenda D. Smith
Journal of Insect Biodiversity 13(2):15–26. . doi: https://doi.org/10.12976/jib/2019.13.2.1
The geographic distribution of Gomphurus ozarkensis (Westfall, 1975), a species described to science only four decades ago, is confined to a four-state area in the central United States: southeastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, western and northern Arkansas, and southern Missouri. Its small range has led some to classify it a species of conservation concern. We examined geographic variation in the species, which despite its small range exists in three distinct subpopulations: one in the Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma; one on the Ozark Plateau of northeastern Oklahoma, southeastern-most Kansas, southern Missouri, and northern Arkansas; and one in the Osage/Flint hills of southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma. Clinal variation is evident in the extent of yellow on the terminal abdominal segments and the extent to which certain thoracic stripes are fused. A population in a separate watershed basin in the southern Osage Hills of Oklahoma is taxonomically distinct, with some phenotypic characters tending toward G. externus (Hagen, 1858). We describe this population as a new subspecies of G. ozarkensis.