Almost 20 new parzitoid species described in a protected area in Northwestern Costa Rica

3 years ago by in Systematics and Taxonomy, Systematics and Taxonomy

More than half a million specimens of wild-caught Lepidoptera caterpillars have been reared for their parasitoids, identified, and DNA barcoded over a period of 34 years (and ongoing) from Area de Conservación de Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica. This provides the world’s best location-based dataset for studying the taxonomy and host relationships of caterpillar parasitoids. Among Hymenoptera, Microgastrinae (Braconidae) is the most diverse and commonly encountered parasitoid subfamily, with many hundreds of species delineated to date, almost all undescribed. Here, we reassess the limits of the genus Apanteles sensu stricto, describe 186 new species from 3,200+ parasitized caterpillars of hundreds of ACG Lepidoptera species, and provide keys to all 205 described Apanteles from Mesoamerica –including 19 previously described species in addition to the new species…Read more from source

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