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Neorileya ashmeadi Crawford and N. flavipes Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae): two species or a single, variable one?

Grant number: 20/16051-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2021
Effective date (End): February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Valmir Antonio Costa
Grantee:Karine Schoeninger
Home Institution: Instituto Biológico (IB). Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/50334-3 - Institutional research development plan (PDIp): modernization and adequacy of strategic multi-user units of the Instituto Biológico, AP.PDIP

Abstract

Neorileya Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) is a group of parasitic wasps with six described species, all from the American Continent. As far as it is known, they use as hosts eggs mainly of bugs belonging to the families Coreidae, Pentatomidae, and Reduviidae (Hemiptera); some of these bugs are serious pests of several crops of economic importance, such as rice and soybean. In Brazil, there are records of three Neorileya species in agricultural environment: Neorileya albipes Girault, N. ashmeadi Crawford e N. flavipes Ashmead. The distinction among these species is not always easy. N. ashmeadi e N. flavipes, for instance, may represent extremes of only one highly variable species, as there is some degree of overlap in the characters used to separate them. Molecular tools can solve this problem. The entomological collections of the Instituto Biológico have ca. 240 specimens belonging to this group. We propose this study, with the aim the molecular characterization of these two Neorileya species, to define if they are distinct species or a single, highly variable one. During the postdoctoral fellowship period, the fellow will help in the curatorial activities of the "Coleção de Insetos Entomófagos Oscar Monte" (IB-CBE), the Entomophagous Insect Collection of the Instituto Biológico. This collection was established in 1999 to receive specimens of parasitic Hymenoptera sent to Instituto Biológico for identification and holds ca. 60 thousand specimens preserved in ethanol that need to be dry mounted and labelled. Also, the fellow will work on the integration of the collection database with the speciesLink system, from the Reference Center on Environmental Information (Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental - CRIA). (AU)

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