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Description

Title:Taxonomy, phylogeny and resource use of Glyptapanteles (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Microgastrinae), genus highly diversified in the Neotropics
Author(s):Arias Penna, Diana
Director of Research:Whitfield, James B.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Whitfield, James B.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Berenbaum, May B.; Cameron, Sydney A.; Alleyne, Marianne; Johnson, Kevin P.
Department / Program:Entomology
Discipline:Entomology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Central America
diversity
gene sampling
host preferences
Lepidoptera
molecular systematics
mtDNA
natural history
parasitoid wasps
South America
Abstract:Among hymenopteran parasitoid wasps, Ichneumonoidea is one of the superfamilies with the highest number of species and includes the highly diverse Microgastrinae subfamily. Microgastrinae wasps are very abundant and can be collected in many different terrestrial habitats. A considerable number of species have been used in successful biological pest control programs, making it one of the most important insect groups. Glyptapanteles is one of the larger genera within Microgastrinae, which was segregated after several attempts to subdivide the gigantic genus Apanteles Foerster 1862. To date, 122 species have been described worldwide, of which only six are Neotropical, despite unpublished evidence that this genus is one of the largest in the Neotropics. Glyptapanteles are diminutive parasitoid wasps, which are free-living as adults, but as immatures, they attack exclusively larvae of Lepidoptera as a food resource for their developing larvae. These parasitoid wasps play a preponderant role in regulating their lepidopteran host populations and in maintaining high biological diversity in terrestrial ecosystems. A reliable revision for the Neotropics has not yet been attempted and many Glyptapanteles species remain undescribed. The scarcity of both taxon sampling and biological information is no longer standard for some Neotropical groups of insects. In the case of Glyptapanteles, the increasing accumulation of information, during the last four decades, derives from two independent long-term rearing projects: the caterpillar and parasitoid inventory of the Área de Conservación en Guanacaste (ACG) in Northwestern Costa Rica and the project Caterpillars and Parasitoids of the Eastern Andes (CAPEA) in Ecuador. This massive microgastrine material is available in Dr. James Whitfield’s laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and was the fundamental for my research. Chapter 1 is focused on the first taxonomic revision of Neotropical Glyptapanteles species from Costa Rica and Ecuador. Here, I describe 137 new species, 78 from Costa Rica and 59 from Ecuador. The taxonomic revision includes an extensive morphological image library for each of the species described and consists of about 2,331 high-resolution images which were used to create 223 plates. The pictures were obtained by both scanning electron microscope (SEM) and Z-stacked images merging different focus positions. The reference collection for this study comprises a total of 16,663 specimens, of which 13,540 are preserved in 100% ethanol and 3,123 are point mounted. Most of the species described (91 spp.) are completely gregarious while 28 are exclusively solitary, nine species exhibited both solitary and gregarious lifestyles and the remaining nine species were collected by Malaise traps. Three different sets of data (morphology, host records and DNA barcoding) were integrated in order to generate accurate boundaries between species. In Chapter 2, the first Glyptapanteles phylogeny based on morphological and molecular data from fragments of four genes is presented. The genes include mitochondrial COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1) and three nuclear genes: Alpha-spectrin; long-wavelength opsin (LW Rh) and wg (wingless). All the Costa Rican material had associated COI, sequences generated partly by the collaborators in the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, Canada and partly by the Keck Center, UIUC. In contrast, COI sequences for Ecuador material and all nuclear genes were generated at UIUC. Phylogeny estimation included maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference. The most well supported phylogenetic reconstruction revealed two discrete clades, and although support was low at basal nodes, relationships at intermediate and terminal nodes were resolved with high support. The majority of the parasitoid samples are endowed with information about their herbivore hosts as well as host plants, providing information across three trophic levels. Mapping this information onto the phylogeny revealed patterns of niche conservatism in one of the clades. It was revealed that host preferences of Glyptapanteles are concentrated primarily in exposed feeding Macrolepidoptera, although ancestrally they explored Microlepidoptera.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/73000
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Diana Arias Penna
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12


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