Zaldívar-Riverón Lab


Systematics and biogeography of the Neotropical doryctine genus Notiospathius

In this study, we investigate the diversity, evolution and historical biogeography of a parasitic wasp genus that is widely distributed along the American continent, the doryctine genus Notiospathius (Braconidae: Doryctinae). This highly speciose taxon occurs from Argentina to Central Mexico. However, to date only around 20 species have been formally described. We will make use of traditional (i.e. morphology) as well as DNA barcoding taxonomy to assess the actual number of species within the genus. Moreover, we will reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships among the species belonging to the genus based on different mitochondrial and nuclear markers. The estimate(s) of phylogeny obtained will be employed to revise the taxonomic classification of the species involved, to infer the main biogeographic events that caused the origin and subsequent radiation in Notiospathius in the american continent, as well as to investigate the evolution of a morphological feature that is thought to have originated in multiple occasions within the Doryctinae as a result of the adaptation to parasitize concealed bark-boring beetle larvae, the enlargement of the first metasomal tergite.          

This study is being carried out in collaboration with the following people from different Latin American countries:

  • Rosa Briceño. Universidad Centrooccidental “Lisandro Alvarado”, Cabudare, Venezuela.
  • Paul Hanson. Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.
  • Enrique Medianero, Universidad de Panamá, Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá.
  • Juan José Martínez, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia", Buenos Aires, Argentina.