Phylogeny and evolution of host-parasitoid interactions in hymenoptera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent studies of hymenopteran phylogeny using both comparative morphology and DNA sequence data have greatly enhanced our understanding of the evolution of that order. Resulting phylogenetic hypotheses make possible more rigorous investigations of the evolution of various biological life-styles, among them the parasitoid habit. This paper reviews the current findings from higher-taxon phylogenetic analyses of the order. A 'consensus' phylogeny derived from these findings is used to trace the most likely evolutionary pathways leading to the current diversity of parasitoid habits. Taxa and biological phenomena for which our current understanding is fragmentary are highlighted. Based on current evidence, it appears that parasitism arose, from mycophagous ancestors, a single time within the order. Many subsequent elaborations of the parasitic mode of life (e.g. endoparasitism, secondary phytophagy, etc) apparently evolved independently more than once.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-151
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Entomology
StatePublished - Mar 11 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological habits
  • Comparative morphology
  • Interactions
  • Molecular systematics
  • Parasitic wasps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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