A five-gene molecular phylogeny reveals Parapanteles Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) to be polyphyletic as currently composed

K. S. Parks, D. H. Janzen, W. Hallwachs, J. Fernández-Triana, L. A. Dyer, J. J. Rodriguez, D. C. Arias-Penna, J. B. Whitfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parapanteles Ashmead (Braconidae: Microgastrinae) is a medium-sized genus of microgastrine wasps that was erected over a century ago and lacks a unique synapomorphic character, and its monophyly has not been tested by any means. Parapanteles usually are parasitoids of large, unconcealed caterpillars (macrolepidoptera) and have been reared from an unusually large diversity of hosts for a relatively small microgastrine genus. We used Cytochrome Oxidase I sequences (“DNA barcodes”) available for Parapanteles and other microgastrines to sample the generic diversity of described and undescribed species currently placed in Parapanteles, and then sequenced four additional genes for this subsample (wingless, elongation factor 1-alpha, ribosomal subunit 28s, and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1). We constructed individual gene trees and concatenated Bayesian and maximum-likelihood phylogenies for this 5-gene subsample. In these phylogenies, most Parapanteles species formed a monophyletic clade within another genus, Dolichogenidea, while the remaining Parapanteles species were recovered polyphyletically within several other genera. The latter likely represent misidentified members of other morphologically similar genera. Species in the monophyletic clade containing most Parapanteles parasitized caterpillars from only five families - Erebidae (Arctiinae), Geometridae, Saturniidae, Notodontidae, and Crambidae. We do not make any formal taxonomic decisions here because we were not able to include representatives of type species for Parapanteles or other relevant genera, and because we feel such decisions should be reserved until a comprehensive morphological analysis of the boundaries of these genera is accomplished.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106859
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Braconidae
  • DNA barcoding
  • Host use
  • Microgastrinae
  • Molecular phylogenetics
  • Parapanteles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'A five-gene molecular phylogeny reveals Parapanteles Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) to be polyphyletic as currently composed'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this