Submitted to: National Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2006
Publication Date: December 11, 2006
Citation: Taylor, D.B. 2006. Molecular diagnostics & phylogenetics of filth fly parasitoids. In: Symposia: Biological Control of Muscoid Diptera. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, December 9-13,2006, Indianapolis, Indiana. 2006 Streaming Video. Technical Abstract: Several species of synanthropic muscoid flies, often referred to as filth flies, breed in animal wastes and are serious pests of humans and livestock. Pteromalid wasps are among the most promising biological control agents for these filth flies. Because of their small size and relative lack of morphological characters, the relationships among filth fly parasitoids are poorly known and differentiating several of the species can be difficult. Furthermore, most field research on parasitoids requires isolating fly pupae and waiting for the wasps to emerge for identification. Often, it would be advantageous to be able to detect and identify immature parasitoids while they are still in the fly puparia. This presentation discusses molecular techniques for differentiating and determining phylogenetic relationships among filth fly parasitoids. Two genera of Pteromalid wasps, Muscidifurax and Spalangia are the most important filth fly parasitoids. The genus Muscidifurax is made up of 5 very similar and closely related species, four of which are restricted to the New World. The genus Spalangia is composed of 30 to 50 species, 14 of which are Holarctic. Genetic differentiation among species of Spalangia was much greater than observed among Muscidifurax species. All of the species examined can be easily differentiated by restriction enzyme digests of ITS-1 amplicons. Relationships among species are discussed.