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Discrimination of Eubazus (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) sibling species using geometric morphometrics analysis of wing venation


, : Discrimination of Eubazus (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) sibling species using geometric morphometrics analysis of wing venation. Systematic Entomology 32(4): 625-634

Complexes of sibling and cryptic species are encountered frequently in parasitic Hymenoptera. Geometric morphometrics is a useful tool to detect minimal morphological variations, which often are undetectable by traditional morphological studies and even by classical morphometric approaches. We applied geometric morphometrics to wing venation to assess a complex case of sibling species in the genus Eubazus (Hymenoptera, Braconidae), parasitoids of conifer bark weevils of the genus Pissodes (Coleoptera, Curculionidae). The results and methods were compared with previous taxonomic studies on the same species, involving classical multivariate morphometrics, isoenzyme analyses, cross-mating experiments and biological observations. Geometric morphometrics confirmed the previous division into four distinct species. However, this approach enabled the four species to be separated simultaneously, with a reliability of 98.6% for well-classified females and 93.1% for males. A similar result in previous studies was obtained only by combining isoenzyme analyses and several canonical variate analyses, including many morphometric characters. Furthermore, measurements of wing venation were less time-consuming, more reliable and required less prior knowledge of braconid taxonomy than the measurements needed for the classical morphometrics methods. Geometric morphometrics was used also to test the effect of host species on wing shape. Several female populations of Eubazus semirugosus originating from three different Pissodes spp. were compared. Significant differences were found in wing shape between conspecific Eubazus from different host species. The results are discussed in relation to reproductive isolation and genetic flow between the four species.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2007.00389.x


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