Name: João Paulo Maires Hoppe
Type: PhD thesis
Publication date: 17/12/2020

Namesort descending Role
Marcelo Teixeira Tavares Advisor *

Examining board:

Namesort descending Role
Frederico Falcão Salles Internal Alternate *
Marcelo Teixeira Tavares Advisor *
Paulo De Marco Júnior External Examiner *
Renan Maestri External Examiner *
Tiago Mauricio Francoy External Examiner *

Summary: Parasitoids are organisms that exploit a single host, obtaining from him all the needed
resources for survival and development, eventually resulting in the host death. Parasitoidism is an
evolutionary strategy of great success, present in at least 10% of described insect species.
Hymenoptera is one of the megadiverse Holometabola orders, with more than 146 000 described
species. Parasitoidism evolved at least once in the evolutionary history of the order, and is present
in half of its species. One of the major lineages of parasitoid Hymenoptera is Chalcididae, divided
in eight subfamilies, with Chalcidinae among them. Chalcidinae are mainly present in the New
World, with the majority of its biodiversity at the Neotropical Region. The Chalcidinae are
represented by six genera: Stenosmicra, Melanosmicra, Chalcis, Corumbichalcis, Pilismicra, and
Conura, with circa 400 described species. There are known hosts for two genera. Chalcis has a
specificity for soldier flies (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), while Conura has a diversified host range,
acting as parasitoids and hyperparasitoids. This heterogeneous host range is accompanied by a great
morphological diversity, unique among the Chalcididae. As morphology is intrinsically connected
to biological functions, this raises the question of what is the association between shape and
function in the Chalcidinae. In the Chapter 1, a revised and updated world catalog of biological
interactions of the Chalcidinae with their hosts is provided, with 105 species of Chalcidinae and 412
different host taxa, summing up to 2 581 records. 127 records are for Chalcidinae and plants. Of the
2 708 records, 105 are new. In the Chapter 2, this knowledge is applied to build a classification of
taxonomic guilds for the Chalcidinae, according to how they explore their hosts, and its relationship
to body shape, represented by the head, mesosoma and metatibia, through a geometric
morphometrics approach. Head and mesosoma shape displayed considerable variation, while
metatibia was quite invariant. Chalcidinae presented a moderate morphological structuring when
taxonomy was considered, and a tenuous pattern for the ecology. Parasite-host interactions alone do
not explain the shape diversity. Size is of little influence on shape. The dissociation between
taxonomic and ecological groupings suggest that the species groups of Conura lacks a host range
specialization. Furthermore, it suggests that similar shapes between its species are products of
convergent evolution.
Keywords: Allometry, Chalcidinae, Chalcis, Conura, Geometric Morphometrics.

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