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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Review of Apanteles sensu stricto (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Microgastrinae) from Area de Conservación Guanacaste, northwestern Costa Rica, with keys to all described species from Mesoamerica

item Fernandez-triana, J.
item Whitfield, J.
item Rodriguez, J.
item Smith, M.
item Janzen, D.
item Hallwachs, W.
item Hajibabaei, M.
item Burns, J.
item Solis, M
item Brown, John
item Cardinal, S.
item Goulet, H.
item Hebert, P.d.

Submitted to: ZooKeys
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2014
Publication Date: 2/24/2014
Publication URL:ón-guanacaste-northweste
Citation: Fernandez-Triana, J.L., Whitfield, J.B., Rodriguez, J.J., Smith, M.A., Janzen, D.H., Hallwachs, W., Hajibabaei, M., Burns, J., Solis, M.A., Brown, J.W., Cardinal, S., Goulet, H., Hebert, P.N. 2014. Review of Apanteles sensu stricto (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Microgastrinae) from Area de Conservación Guanacaste, northwestern Costa Rica, with keys to all described species from Mesoamerica. ZooKeys. 383:1-565.

Interpretive Summary: Wasps in the family Braconidae are parasitoids of moth larvae and some species have been utilized in biological control programs of moth larval pests. This study described 186 new species in the group Apanteles from more than 3,200 parasitized larvae reared in northwestern Costa Rica. Illustrations, descriptions, distributional information, wasp biology, and DNA barcodes are presented for most species. Taxonomic keys for identification are presented as traditional dichotomous print versions with links to electronic interactive versions. About 90% of the wasp species are parasitizing just one host moth family, and commonly, just one species of moth larva. Only about 15 species (7%) parasitize species in more than one moth family. This information will be useful to biologists working on the biological control of moth pests.

Technical Abstract: More than half a million specimens of wild-caught Lepidoptera caterpillars have been reared for their parasitoids, identification, and DNA barcoding over a period of 34 years (and ongoing) from Area de Conservación de Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica. This provides the world’s best place-based dataset for studying the taxonomy and host relationships of caterpillar parasitoids. Among Hymenoptera, Microgastrinae (Braconidae) is the most diverse and commonly encountered parasitoid subfamily, with many hundreds of species delineated to date, almost all undescribed. Here, we describe 186 new species of the wasp genus Apanteles, from 3,200+ parasitized caterpillars of hundreds of ACG Lepidoptera species, and provide keys to all 205 described Apanteles from Mesoamerica –19 previously described species in addition to the new species. The Mesoamerican Apanteles are assigned to 62 species groups, all but two of which are newly defined. Taxonomic keys are presented in two formats: traditional dichotomous print versions and links to electronic interactive versions (software Lucid 3.5). Numerous illustrations, computer-generated descriptions, distributional information, wasp biology, and DNA barcodes (where available) are presented for every species. All morphological terms are detailed and linked to the Hymenoptera Anatomy and Ontology website. DNA barcoding (a standard fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) mitochondrial gene), information on wasp biology (host records, solitary/gregariousness of wasp larvae), ratios of morphological features, and wasp microecological distributions were used to help clarify boundaries between morphologically cryptic species within species complexes. Because of the high accuracy of host identification for about 80% of the wasp species studied, it is was possible to analyze host relationships at a regional basis. The ACG species of Apanteles attack mainly species of Hesperiidae, Elachistidae and Crambidae (Lepidoptera). About 90% of the wasp species seem to be monophagous or oligophagous at some level, parasitizing just one host family and commonly, just one species of caterpillar. Only about 15 species (7%) parasitize species in more than one family. We have used several information sources and techniques (traditional taxonomy, molecular, software-based, biology, and geography) to accelerate the process of dining and describing these new species in a hyperdiverse group such as Apanteles. The following new taxonomic and nomenclatural acts are proposed. Four species previously considered to be Apanteles are transferred to other microgastrine genera: Dolichogenidea hedyleptae (Muesebeck, 1958) comb. nov., Dolichogenidea politiventris (Muesebeck, 1958) comb. nov., Rhygoplitis sanctivincenti (Ashmead, 1900) comb. nov., and Illidops scutellaris (Muesebeck, 1921) rev. comb. One European species that is a secondary homonym to a Mesoamerican species is removed from Apanteles and transferred to another genus: Iconella albinervis (Tobias, 1964) stat. rev. The name Apanteles albinervican Shenefelt, 1972, is an invalid replacement name for Apanteles albinervis (Cameron, 1904) stat. rev., and thus the later name is reinstated as valid. The following 186 species, all in Apanteles and all authored by Fernández-Triana, are described as species nova: adelinamoralesae, adrianachavarriae, adrianaguilarae, adrianguadamuzi, aichagirardae, aidalopezae, albanjimenezi, alejandromasisi, alejandromorai, minorcarmonai, alvarougaldei, federicomatarritai, anabellecordobae, rostermoragai, anamarencoae, anamartinesae, anapiedrae, anariasae, andreacalvoae, angelsolisi, arielopezi, bernardoespinozai, bernyapui, bettymarchenae, bienvenidachavarriae, calixtomoragai, carloscastilloi, carlosguadamuzi, eliethcantillanoae, carlosrodriguezi, carlosviquezi, carloszunigai, carolinacanoae, christianzunigai, cinthiabarrantesae, ciriloum

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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