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      A revolutionary protocol to describe understudied hyperdiverse taxa and overcome the taxonomic impediment

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          Abstract

          Here we elucidate and justify a DNA barcode approach to insect species description that can be applied to name tens of thousands of species of Ichneumonoidea and many other species-rich taxa. Each description consists of a lateral habitus image of the specimen, a COI barcode diagnosis, and the holotype specimen information required by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. We believe this approach, or a slight modification of it, will be useful for many other underdescribed hyperdiverse taxa, especially in the tropics. Due to the extreme species-richness of the Ichneumonoidea, the very low percentage of described species, and the lack of detailed biological information for most described species, the standard taxonomic approach is inefficient and overwhelmingly time consuming. A DNA barcode-based approach to initial description will provide a solid foundation of species hypotheses from which more comprehensive descriptions can be developed as other data, time, and budgets permit. Here we elucidate this view and detailed methodology that can generally be applied to species-rich underdescribed taxa. A real example is given by describing species in two genera, Hemichoma and Zelomorpha, reared from the Área de Conservación Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica. The generic type species Zelomorpha arizonensis is given a DNA barcode diagnosis and the following new species are described: Zelomorpha angelsolisi, Zelomorpha bobandersoni, Zelomorpha danjohnsoni, Zelomorpha donwindsori, Zelomorpha effugia, Zelomorpha johnchemsaki, Zelomorpha kellyanneae, Zelomorpha larrykirkendalli, Zelomorpha mariyavladmirovnae, Zelomorpha mikeiviei, Zelomorpha myricagaleae, Zelomorpha noahjaneae, Zelomorpha paulgoldsteini, Zelomorpha terryerwini, Zelomorpha willsflowersi, Hemichoma donwhiteheadi, Hemichoma frankhovorei, and Hemichoma johnkingsolveri.

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          An inexpensive, automation-friendly protocol for recovering high-quality DNA

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            Extreme diversity of tropical parasitoid wasps exposed by iterative integration of natural history, DNA barcoding, morphology, and collections.

            We DNA barcoded 2,597 parasitoid wasps belonging to 6 microgastrine braconid genera reared from parapatric tropical dry forest, cloud forest, and rain forest in Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica and combined these data with records of caterpillar hosts and morphological analyses. We asked whether barcoding and morphology discover the same provisional species and whether the biological entities revealed by our analysis are congruent with wasp host specificity. Morphological analysis revealed 171 provisional species, but barcoding exposed an additional 142 provisional species; 95% of the total is likely to be undescribed. These 313 provisional species are extraordinarily host specific; more than 90% attack only 1 or 2 species of caterpillars out of more than 3,500 species sampled. The most extreme case of overlooked diversity is the morphospecies Apanteles leucostigmus. This minute black wasp with a distinctive white wing stigma was thought to parasitize 32 species of ACG hesperiid caterpillars, but barcoding revealed 36 provisional species, each attacking one or a very few closely related species of caterpillars. When host records and/or within-ACG distributions suggested that DNA barcoding had missed a species-pair, or when provisional species were separated only by slight differences in their barcodes, we examined nuclear sequences to test hypotheses of presumptive species boundaries and to further probe host specificity. Our iterative process of combining morphological analysis, ecology, and DNA barcoding and reiteratively using specimens maintained in permanent collections has resulted in a much more fine-scaled understanding of parasitoid diversity and host specificity than any one of these elements could have produced on its own.
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              The perils of DNA barcoding and the need for integrative taxonomy.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift
                DEZ
                Pensoft Publishers
                1860-1324
                1435-1951
                July 25 2019
                July 25 2019
                : 66
                : 2
                : 119-145
                Article
                10.3897/dez.66.34683
                © 2019

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