Start Date: Mar 18, 2010
End Date: Sep 30, 2010
The morphology and DNA of agriculturally important groups of wasps will be studied to discover characters useful for the diagnosis and identification of pests and beneficial species, and to test competing hypotheses of their relationships and improve their classification. The following methods will be used as appropriate: study morphology by light and scanning microscopy; extract and sequence DNA from both nuclear and mitochondrial genes; compile character matrices to produce descriptions, phylogenetic analyses, and identification tools (keys); illustrate diagnostic characters; study type specimens to correctly assign names to species and higher groups; field research to obtain samples and discover host relationships; and database specimen data to compile and analyze distribution and host information. Specimens submitted by ARS and other researchers and APHIS and other action agencies will be identified using available literature and comparison with specimens in the National Collection.