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      Revision of the genus Pseudapanteles (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae), with emphasis on the species in Area de Conservación Guanacaste, northwestern Costa Rica

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          Pseudapanteles is a moderately diverse genus of Microgastrinae parasitoid wasps ( Hymenoptera : Braconidae ), endemic to the New World and with the vast majority of its species (including many undescribed) in the Neotropical region. We describe here 25 new species from Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica, based on 400 studied specimens. A key to all 36 known species of Pseudapanteles is provided (except for Pseudapanteles brunneus , only known from a single male), and species are placed in three newly created species-groups. Host records are known for only 25% of the species; most are solitary parasitoids of the caterpillars of several families of small Lepidoptera ( Crambidae , Elachistidae , Gelechiidae , Incurvariidae , Sesiidae , Tineidae ). DNA barcodes (part of the CO1 gene) were obtained for 30 species (83%), and provide a start for future study of the genus beyond ACG. Brief descriptions (generated by Lucid 3.5 software) and extensive illustrations are provided for all species. The following new taxonomic and nomenclatural acts are proposed: Pseudapanteles moerens (Nixon, 1965), comb. n., Pseudapanteles brunneus Ashmead, 1900, comb. rev., a lectotype is designated for Pseudapanteles ruficollis (Cameron, 1911), and the following 25 species nova of Pseudapanteles (all authored by Fernández-Triana and Whitfield): alfiopivai , alvaroumanai , analorenaguevarae , carlosespinachi , carlosrodriguezi , christianafigueresae , hernanbravoi , jorgerodriguezi , josefigueresi , laurachinchillae , luisguillermosolisi , margaritapenonae , mariobozai , mariocarvajali , maureenballesteroae , munifigueresae , oscarariasi , ottonsolisi , pedroleoni , raulsolorzanoi , renecastroi , rodrigogamezi , rosemarykarpinskiae , soniapicadoae , teofilodelatorrei .

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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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              DNA barcodes reveal cryptic host-specificity within the presumed polyphagous members of a genus of parasitoid flies (Diptera: Tachinidae).

              Insect parasitoids are a major component of global biodiversity and affect the population dynamics of their hosts. However, identification of insect parasitoids is often difficult, and they are suspected to contain many cryptic species. Here, we ask whether the cytochrome c oxidase I DNA barcode could function as a tool for species identification and discovery for the 20 morphospecies of Belvosia parasitoid flies (Diptera: Tachinidae) that have been reared from caterpillars (Lepidoptera) in Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica. Barcoding not only discriminates among all 17 highly host-specific morphospecies of ACG Belvosia, but it also raises the species count to 32 by revealing that each of the three generalist species are actually arrays of highly host-specific cryptic species. We also identified likely hybridization among Belvosia by using a variable internal transcribed spacer region 1 nuclear rDNA sequence as a genetic covariate in addition to the strategy of overlaying barcode clusters with ecological information. If general, these results will increase estimates of global species richness and imply that tropical conservation and host-parasite interactions may be more complex than expected.

                Author and article information

                Pensoft Publishers
                14 October 2014
                : 446
                : 1-82
                [1 ]Canadian National Collection of Insects, 960 Carling Ave., Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6 Canada
                [2 ]Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 Canada
                [3 ]Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6018 USA
                [4 ]Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 USA
                [5 ]Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 Canada
                [6 ]Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, c/o National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, MRC-168, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Jose L. Fernández-Triana ( jftriana@ )

                Academic editor: K. van Achterberg

                Jose L. Fernández-Triana, Daniel H. Janzen, Winnie Hallwachs, James B. Whitfield, M. Alex Smith, Robert Kula

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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