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      Skeletal Morphology of Opius dissitus and Biosteres carbonarius (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), with a Discussion of Terminology

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      PLoS ONE

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          Abstract

          The Braconidae, a family of parasitic wasps, constitute a major taxonomic challenge with an estimated diversity of 40,000 to 120,000 species worldwide, only 18,000 of which have been described to date. The skeletal morphology of braconids is still not adequately understood and the terminology is partly idiosyncratic, despite the fact that anatomical features form the basis for most taxonomic work on the group. To help address this problem, we describe the external skeletal morphology of Opius dissitus Muesebeck 1963 and Biosteres carbonarius Nees 1834, two diverse representatives of one of the least known and most diverse braconid subfamilies, the Opiinae. We review the terminology used to describe skeletal features in the Ichneumonoidea in general and the Opiinae in particular, and identify a list of recommend terms, which are linked to the online Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology. The morphology of the studied species is illustrated with SEM-micrographs, photos and line drawings. Based on the examined species, we discuss intraspecific and interspecific morphological variation in the Opiinae and point out character complexes that merit further study.

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          Principles of insect morphology

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            Systematics of the cyclostome subfamilies of braconid parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea): a simultaneous molecular and morphological Bayesian approach.

            Phylogenetic relationships among 95 genera collectively representing 17 of the 18 currently recognized cyclostome braconid wasp subfamilies were investigated based on DNA sequence fragments of the mitochondrial COI and the nuclear 28S rDNA genes, in addition to morphological data. The treatment of sequence length variation of the 28S partition was explored by either excluding ambiguously aligned regions and indel information (28SN) or recoding them (28SA) using the 'fragment-level' alignment method with a modified coding approach. Bayesian MCMC analyses were performed for the separate and combined data sets and a maximum parsimony analysis was also carried out for the simultaneous molecular and morphological data sets. There was a significant incongruence between the two genes and between 28S and morphology, but not for morphology and COI. Different analyses with the 28SA data matrix resulted in topologies that were generally similar to the ones from the 28SN matrix; however, the former topologies recovered a higher number of significantly supported clades and had a higher mean Bayesian posterior probability, thus supporting the inclusion of information from ambiguously aligned regions and indel events in phylogenetic analyses where possible. Based on the significantly supported clades obtained from the simultaneous molecular and morphological analyses, we propose that a total of 17 subfamilies should be recognized within the cyclostome group. The subfamilial placements of several problematic cyclostome genera were also established.
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              Simultaneous molecular and morphological analysis of braconid relationships (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Braconidae) indicates independent mt-tRNA gene inversions within a single wasp family.

              We investigated the phylogeny of the Braconidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) with a much expanded data set compared with that of previous attempts, employing 16S and 28S rDNA gene fragments, together with a suite of morphological characters, from 74 ingroup taxa. Most notably, parsimony analyses under a range of models recovered the Aphidiinae as sister group to the cyclostomes and the Ichneutinae as sister group to the microgastroids. The cyclostomes were recovered as a natural group only if certain, putatively misplaced genera (Mesostoa, Aspilodemon) were excluded from them. Further, mapping of rearrangement characters onto this phylogeny of the Braconidae indicated parallel inversions of the mt-tRNAD gene, with the two instances of inversion distinguishable by the presence or absence of an additional tRNA gene (tRNAH). This is the first report of a parallel inversion of a mt-tRNA gene and makes the Braconidae the first metazoan family to display both parallel inversions and translocations.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2012
                30 April 2012
                : 7
                : 4
                Affiliations
                Department of Entomology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden
                United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: DK FR. Performed the experiments: DK. Analyzed the data: DK FR. Wrote the paper: DK FR.

                [¤]

                Current address: Station Linné, Färjestaden, Sweden

                Article
                PONE-D-11-19936
                10.1371/journal.pone.0032573
                3340384
                22558068
                Karlsson, Ronquist. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 38
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology
                Anatomy and Physiology
                Comparative Anatomy
                Ecology
                Ecological Metrics
                Species Diversity
                Evolutionary Biology
                Evolutionary Systematics
                Taxonomy
                Animal Taxonomy
                Zoology
                Animal Taxonomy
                Comparative Anatomy
                Entomology

                Uncategorized

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