Hidden Creatures – systematics of the Euphorinae (Hymenoptera)
Sammanfattning: Parasitic wasps constitute one of the last remaining frontiers in the charting of animal diversity. The Braconidae is the second most species-rich family of parasitic wasps; the world fauna has been estimated at 40 000 species and the Swedish fauna is believed to include a little more than 2 000 species, 1 200 of which are currently documented. This thesis is a contribution to the rapidly increasing knowledge of braconid diversity. In paper I, a new gregarious parasitoid, Meteorus acerbiavorus sp. nov. (Braconidae: Eupohrinae), is described from specimens reared from the cocoons of the butterfly Acerbia alpina (Quensel) (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae) in northwestern Finnish Lapland. Based on a molecular phylogenetic analysis, the new species is shown to belong to the M. rubens species group. In the second paper, the Western Palearctic fauna of the tribe is revised, seven new species are described and a key to the Western Palearctic species is presented. Two molecular markers, 28S and COI, are used to study phylogenetic relationships in the tribe. The molecular results showed that the Meteorini fall into four well supported clades. The results also reveal a considerable cryptic species diversity. The third paper deals with distributional, phenological and in many cases rearing data from nearly 2 500 specimens (44 species) of the Meteorini in the collection of the National Museums of Scotland (NMS), Edinburgh. Patterns in the breadth of host ranges are discussed in relation to a reiterated speciation hypothesis. Paper IV examines the phylogenetic relationships of the entire subfamily Euphorinae based upon four gene regions (18S, CAD, 28S D2, and COI). A revised classification of the Euphorinae is proposed that recognizes 55 genera and 14 tribes. Our study shows that early members of the Euphorinae were parasitoids of coleopteran larvae, with a host shift to larval Lepidoptera, adult or immature hosts in the Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Neuroptera, Orthoptera and Psocoptera.
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