Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Misleading morphology: Three European parasitoid wasp 'species' are seasonal forms of just one

Date:
October 26, 2011
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
Through an examination of collections, both natural and experimental rearings, and DNA sequence data, three nominal species of ichneumon wasps, having very different morphologies and hitherto regarded as distinct, are shown to be seasonal forms of a single species, Scambus calobatus.

Through an examination of collections, both natural and experimental rearings, and DNA sequence data, three nominal species of ichneumon wasps, having very different morphologies and hitherto regarded as distinct, are shown to be seasonal forms of a single species, Scambus calobatus.

Related Articles


Three widely differing forms of European Scambus parasitoid wasps that had previously been regarded as distinct species are shown to be seasonal morphs of a single species. The collaboration involved National Museums Scotland (Mark Shaw), a private individual (Malcolm Jennings) as well as Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum (Donald Quicke). It was published in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research, an open access journal.

The findings depended on examination of museum collections with good data standards, targeted fieldwork to rear specimens from known hosts at different times of year, and experimental rearings of progeny from spring females through summer hosts. DNA sequence data provided confirmation that the rearing results were real, and not the result of overlooked contaminants.

The adults of these parasitoids paralyse their concealed hosts, which are small caterpillars or beetle larvae, before laying an egg beside the host. The host remains paralysed and is consumed by the resulting parasitoid larva, which then pupates and eventually becomes an adult, emerging from the same place. One morph (S. planatus), which occurs in spring, has a robust head to accommodate the powerful muscles needed to chew out of acorns in which it has been a parasitoid of micromoth and weevil larvae attacked the previous autumn. Females of this morph live for several weeks, during which they become darker and their abdomen broadens considerably (S. ventricosus). Towards the middle of summer, this morph matures its eggs and parasitises micromoth larvae living in relatively soft silken retreats among foliage. Within a few weeks, adults of the next generation emerge from this substrate, having much less powerful heads (S. calobatus), and these adults then seek tenanted acorns in which to oviposit in autumn. The spring-emerging and summer-emerging forms also differ in their ovipositor lengths. This life-cycle was confirmed experimentally by allowing the S. ventricosus morph, originating from acorns, to parasitise the summer hosts which then produced adults of the S. calobatus morph. Because S. calobatus is the oldest of the three names, this is the one that has to be used for this seasonally variable, but none-the-less single, species in the future.

"It was satisfying to be able to follow this hunch through to such a conclusive result" says the senior author Mark Shaw. "It shows the importance of good collections, careful field work, and focussed experimentation. Almost certainly there will be other similar cases."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark Shaw, Malcolm Jennings, Donald Quicke. The identity of Scambus planatus (Hartig, 1838) and Scambus ventricosus (Tschek, 1871) as seasonal forms of Scambus calobatus (Gravenhorst, 1829) in Europe (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Pimplinae, Ephialtini). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 2011; 23 (0): 55 DOI: 10.3897/JHR.23.1974

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Misleading morphology: Three European parasitoid wasp 'species' are seasonal forms of just one." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111026103119.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2011, October 26). Misleading morphology: Three European parasitoid wasp 'species' are seasonal forms of just one. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111026103119.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Misleading morphology: Three European parasitoid wasp 'species' are seasonal forms of just one." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111026103119.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins