Folding wings like a cockroach: A review of transverse wing folding ensign wasps (Hymenoptera: Evaniidae: Afrevania and Trissevania)

István Mikó, Robert S. Copeland, James P. Balhoff, Matthew J. Yoder, Andrew R. Deans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

We revise two relatively rare ensign wasp genera, whose species are restricted to Sub-Saharan Africa: Afrevania and Trissevania. Afrevania longipetiolata sp. nov., Trissevania heatherae sp. nov., T. hugoi sp. nov., T. mrimaensis sp. nov. and T. slideri sp. nov. are described, males and females of T. anemotis and Afrevania leroyi are redescribed, and an identification key for Trissevaniini is provided. We argue that Trissevania mrimaensis sp. nov. and T. heatherae sp. nov. populations are vulnerable, given their limited distributions and threats from mining activities in Kenya. We hypothesize that these taxa together comprise a monophyletic lineage, Trissevaniini, tr. nov., the members of which share the ability to fold their fore wings along two intersecting fold lines. Although wing folding of this type has been described for the hind wing of some insects four-plane wing folding of the fore wing has never been documented. The wing folding mechanism and the pattern of wing folds of Trissevaniini is shared only with some cockroach species (Blattodea). It is an interesting coincidence that all evaniids are predators of cockroach eggs. The major wing fold lines of Trissevaniini likely are not homologous to any known longitudinal anatomical structures on the wings of other Evaniidae. Members of the new tribe share the presence of a coupling mechanism between the fore wing and the mesosoma that is composed of a setal patch on the mesosoma and the retinaculum of the fore wing. While the setal patch is an evolutionary novelty, the retinaculum, which originally evolved to facilitate fore and hind wing coupling in Hymenoptera, exemplifies morphological exaptation. We also refine and clarify the Semantic Phenotype approach used in previous taxonomic revisions and explore the consequences of merging new with existing data. The way that semantic statements are formulated can evolve in parallel, alongside improvements to the ontologies themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere94056
JournalPloS one
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2014

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Evaniidae
Wasps
Cockroaches
Hymenoptera
Blattodea
Semantics
Africa South of the Sahara
Kenya
Vulnerable Populations
new species
Population Groups
Eggs
Insects
Phenotype
new tribe
taxonomic keys
Sub-Saharan Africa
taxonomic revisions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Folding wings like a cockroach : A review of transverse wing folding ensign wasps (Hymenoptera: Evaniidae: Afrevania and Trissevania). / Mikó, István; Copeland, Robert S.; Balhoff, James P.; Yoder, Matthew J.; Deans, Andrew R.

In: PloS one, Vol. 9, No. 5, e94056, 02.05.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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