Geographic variation in morphological, genetic and clonal diversity of the parasitoid wasp Pelecinus polyturator (Hymenoptera: Pelecinidae)

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  • The wasp species Pelecinus polyturator, the pelecinid wasp, is a widely dispersed species that is most easily recognized by its abnormally long abdomen. The range of this organism's habitat extends from Argentina to Canada making it subject to a wide range of weather and climatic conditions. This range in environmental variation could lead to adaptations including altered morphology and unorthodox reproductive techniques such as parthenogenesis. Samples have been collected from populations in Canada, the USA and Honduras and have been compared for geographic differences in morphology and genetic
    relatedness. Morphological comparisons show that: 1) Specimens from Canada and the USA are larger than Honduran specimens; 2) Honduran Specimens have relatively longer antennae; 3) American specimens have relatively longer abdomens; 4) Canadian specimens have less variance in wing size and antennae length. ISSR-PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis produced DNA bands based on the CA10 and GT10 primers that were used; however, the resolution was too low to be analysed for genetic relatedness. With methodological adjustments these primers are likely to produce significant results that can identify relatedness within and between populations.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International