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Ophionines (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Ophioninae) of California and the addition of taxa into a phylogenetic reassessment of tribal limits


Wasps of the ichneumonid subfamily Ophioninae are mostly large, nocturnal, larval-pupal endoparasitoids of primarily Lepidoptera, with high abundance and diversity, especially in the tropics. Recent genetic studies revealed that this subfamily’s level of diversity is far higher than previously thought. Though they are found worldwide, the biodiversity of this subfamily is not known in non tropical hotspots like California. First, I examined the unrecognized diversity of Ophionines in coastal southern California using a combination of the morphological, geographic, and temporal characteristics of specimens. Second. I added those taxa to a reassessment of the tribes in this subfamily. My findings indicate that the levels of diversity of the Californian Ophionine wasps are far higher than currently realized, with approximately 19 putative new species for the state, exhibiting homoplasy and endemism that calls the Ophioninae tribal designations into question.

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