Beyond the wasp-waist: Structural diversity and phylogenetic significance of the mesosoma in apocritan wasps (Insecta: Hymenoptera)

Lars Vilhelmsen, Istvan Mikó, Lars Krogmann

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130 Scopus citations


A comprehensive data set of hymenopteran mesosomal anatomy is presented and analysed. Eighty-nine taxa, including three outgroups, were scored for 273 characters. Analyses were carried out under different weighting conditions (equal and implied weights). Topologies retrieved for the non-apocritan Hymenoptera were highly congruent with previously published results. Apocrita were always retrieved as monophyletic, as were most superfamilies. Relationships amongst apocritan superfamilies were mostly weakly corroborated. Stephanoidea were almost always the sister group to the remaining Apocrita. Evaniomorpha were usually retrieved, Ceraphronoidea being the sister group to Megalyroidea, and Evanioidea to Trigonaloidea. Aculeata did not always come out as monophyletic, and of the aculeate superfamilies, only Apoidea was retrieved. Ichneumonoidea were always monophyletic and often the sister group of Aculeata. Maamingidae and Mymarommatoidea were usually sister groups; together, they often form the sister group of Chalcidoidea. A large clade comprising Cynipoidea, Platygastroidea, and Proctotrupoidea was usually retrieved, the two former superfamilies being nested within Proctotrupoidea. Cynipoidea were usually closely related to some of the Diapriidae. Platygastroidea were usually the sister group of a clade comprising Heloridae, Pelecinidae, Proctotrupidae, and Vanhorniidae. The mesosomal region proved to be a very substantial source of phylogenetically relevant information. The results of the present analyses indicate that a reclassification, especially of Proctotrupoidea, is required, but this should be carried out after thorough analyses of more comprehensive combined data sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-194
Number of pages173
JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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