Meeting Abstract

10-6  Thursday, Jan. 5 09:30 - 09:45  Building a Phylogeny of Parasitic Wasps in the Genus, Cotesia, Based on Species-specific Courtship Songs BREDLAU, JP*; KESTER, KM; Virginia Commonwealth University; Virginia Commonwealth University bredlauj@vcu.edu http://kesterlab.com

Acoustic signals play an important role in premating isolation based on sexual selection within many taxa. Evidence for several genera of parasitic wasps within the Braconidae demonstrates that males produce a characteristic courtship song used by females to identify conspecifics. In Cotesia (Braconidae), courtship songs are generated by wing fanning and repetitive pulses in stereotypical patterns. Our objectives were to determine if male courtship songs within Cotesia are species specific, and therefore could function in premating isolation, and if so, which components differed. We compared songs among 12 of ca. 80 described Cotesia species in North America, including ten species that have not been recorded previously. Pattern, frequency, and duration of song elements were analyzed using Raven Pro. Principal component analysis was used to convert the seven elements characterized into uncorrelated components used in a hierarchical cluster analysis and to group species by similarity of song structure. Songs among species varied significantly in duration of repeating pulse and buzz elements and in fundamental frequency. Songs within species were structurally conserved. The first three principal components explained 85% of the variance of song elements. The dendrogram produced by the cluster analysis of principal components generally mirrored the most recent proposed molecular phylogeny for Cotesia spp. by Michel-Salzat & Whitfield (2004), indicating the potential for using courtship songs as a predictor of genetic relatedness. Courtship song analysis may also aid in identifying closely related cryptic species with sympatric distributions, and provide insight into the evolution of this highly diverse and agriculturally important taxon.