Wild and cultivated olives harbor and share a diversity of insects, some of which are considered agricultural pests, such as the olive fruit fly. The assemblage of olive-associated parasitoids and seed wasps is rich and specialized in sub-Saharan Africa, with native species possibly coevolving with their hosts. Although historical entomological surveys reported on the diversity of olive wasp species in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, no comprehensive study has been performed in the region in the molecular era. In this study, a dual approach combining morphological and DNA-based methods was used for the identification of adult specimens reared from olive fruits. Four species of Braconidae and six species of Chalcidoidea were identified, and DNA barcoding methodologies were used to investigate conspecificity among individuals, based on randomly selected representative specimens. Morphological identifications were congruent with DNA data, as NJ and ML trees correctly placed the sequences for each species either at the genus or species level, depending on the available taxa coverage, and genetic distances strongly supported conspecificity. No clear evidence of cryptic diversity was found. Overall seed infestation and parasitism rates were higher in wild olives compared to cultivated olives, and highest for Eupelmus spermophilus and Utetes africanus. These results can be used for early DNA-based detection of wasp larvae in olives and to further investigate the biology and ecology of these species.
|Numero di pagine||17|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology