Morphological and molecular characterization of reared parasitoid wasps of the genus glyptapanteles ashmead 1904 (insecta: Hymenoptera: braconidae: Microgastrinae) associated with lepidoptera in India

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Abstract

Glyptapanteles Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Microgastrinae) is a cosmopolitan group of hyperdiverse parasitic wasps. The genus remains taxonomically challenging in India due to its highly speciose nature, morphological similarity amongst species and negligible host records. The Indian fauna is one of the most diverse and also the least studied. The present study is based on 60 populations reared from 35 host species, 100+ individual caterpillar rearings (1100 wasp specimens pinned and 2000 in alcohol) and from 12 different geographical locations of the country (11 states and one Union territory) that represent 26 provisional Glyptapanteles species within 8 species-groups. Out of 60 populations, phylogenetic analyses were performed on 38 based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) nucleotide sequences. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods displayed three and four major discrete Glyptapanteles clades, respectively. In clade A very few Indian species were grouped along with Neotropical and Thailand species. The other clades B and C grouped the majority of the Indian species and showed considerable host specificity in both the trees. All parasitic wasp species were gregarious in nature, except for two populations. Three different sets of data (morphology, host records, and COI) were integrated in order to generate accurate boundaries between species/species-groups. Illustrations of all parasitized caterpillars/cocoons and 42 habitus views of Glyptapanteles spp., distributional information, and GenBank accession numbers, are presented. The present study, perhaps the most comprehensive done to date in India, suggests the presence of several additional Glyptapanteles species, which were previously unrecognized.

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Gupta, A., Venkatesan, T., & More, R. P. (2016). Morphological and molecular characterization of reared parasitoid wasps of the genus glyptapanteles ashmead 1904 (insecta: Hymenoptera: braconidae: Microgastrinae) associated with lepidoptera in India. PLoS ONE, 11(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0150765

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