Eur. J. Entomol. 112 (1): 165-174, 2015 | 10.14411/eje.2015.007

Morphological and molecular characterization of common European species of Adialytus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) based on the mtCOI barcoding gene and geometric morphometrics of forewings

Saša S. STANKOVIĆ1, Andjeljko PETROVIĆ2, Marijana ILIĆ MILOŠEVIĆ1, Petr STARÝ3, Nickolas G. KAVALLIERATOS4, Vladimir ŽIKIĆ1, Željko TOMANOVIĆ2
1 Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, University of Niš, Višegradska 33, 18000 Niš, Serbia; e-mails: sasasta@gmail.com; marijanailic83@yahoo.com; zikicvladimir@gmail.com
2 Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia; e-mails: andjeljko@bio.bg.ac.rs; ztoman@bio.bg.ac.rs
3 Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Branišovská 31, 37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic; e-mail: stary@entu.cas.cz
4 Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Benaki Phytopathological Institute, 8 Stefanou Delta str., Kifissia, 14561, Attica, Greece; e-mail: nick_kaval@hotmail.com

In this study three common European species of the genus Adialytus Förster, 1862 were examined: Adialytus ambiguus (Haliday, 1834), Adialytus salicaphis (Fitch, 1855) and Adialytus thelaxis (Starý, 1961). Molecular analysis involved the DNA barcoding of a region of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I (COI). The genetic difference based on Kimura s two-parameter model for computing pairwise distances showed that A. thelaxis differs from both A. ambiguus and A. salicaphis by 4.9 and 6% on average, respectively. The genetic distance between A. ambiguus and A. salicaphis was 1.5% on average, suggesting that barcodes based on the COI gene are insufficiently informative for separating these two species. Geometric morphometrics analysis of forewing size and shape revealed statistically significant differences. The R1 vein on the forewing of A. ambiguus is more elongated than on the wings of A. salicaphis and A. thelaxis. The geometric morphometrics analysis of the forewings also revealed that A. salicaphis and A. thelaxis have much broader forewings, suggesting strong flight ability associated with their parasitizing arboricolous aphids. The distal part of the forewing of Adialytus ambiguus is narrower, which in this case suggests poor flight ability associated with parasitizing Sipha aphids on grasses. An illustrated key for identifying the European species of Adialytus is provided.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Adialytus, parasitoids, morphology, genetic diversity, key

Received: February 11, 2014; Accepted: July 25, 2014; Prepublished online: October 16, 2014; Published: January 25, 2015

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