Morphological and molecular characterization of Microplitis maculipennis Szépligeti (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from India with notes on its generic placement


Affiliations

  • ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Bangalore, Karnataka, 560024, India
  • National Centre for Biological Sciences, TIFR, Bangalore, Karnataka, 560065, India
  • SRM University, Chennai, TamilNadu, 603203, India

Abstract

Microplitis maculipennis Szépligeti is an important parasitoid of castor semilooper Acanthodelta janata (L.) (Lepidoptera), a major pest of castor (Ricinus communis L.). Microplitis Förster shares remarkable morphological resemblance with moderately diverse genus Snellenius Westwood. In this study, molecular characterization of M. maculipennis was done using Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) to confirm its generic placement in the respective genus. The Bayesian Inference (BI) and Maximum Likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analysis performed with a total of 354 published BOLD database sequences (after pre-processing of a total of 2257 COI sequences) of Microplitis and Snellenius species, representing 129 named species and 226 species determined only to genus raises doubts on the retention of both these genera separately. Our studies reveal that COI gene could not discriminate Microplitis and Snellenius species clearly.

Keywords

Acanthodelta janata, barcode, COI, Microplitis maculipennis, Snellenius

Subject Discipline

Entomology/Biological control

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