The ant-parasitic Eucharitidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) of Africa and Madagascar

Monday, November 17, 2014
Exhibit Hall C (Oregon Convention Center)
Scott Heacox , Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA
Krissy Dominguez , Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA
John M. Heraty , University of California, Riverside, CA
Eucharitidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) are specialized ant-parasitoid wasps with a worldwide distribution. Little is known about the diversity of Eucharitidae on the island of Madagascar beyond the collection efforts of the California Academy of Sciences in the early 2000’s and a handful of specimens from other collections. Most of the eucharitid specimens gathered from Madagascar belong to the genus Orasema, with a few specimens of an unknown genus from the same subfamily, Oraseminae, of which this study will focus. Our goal is to determine the diversity and distribution of Madagascan Oraseminae and to speculate on the implications of their placement within the current Old and New World orasemine phylogeny. At least one new species of Orasema and a new species of an unknown genus has been determined and described based on morphological and genetic analyses. Using the discovered morphological variation, a key has been created for the Oraseminae of Madagascar for four species of Orasema and one species of the undescribed genus. Furthermore, at least three individual invasions of Madagascar by Oraseminae are hypothesized based on an observed polyphyletic relationship.