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Article

Ecology and Genetic Structure of the Parasitoid Phobocampe confusa (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) in Relation to Its Hosts, Aglais Species (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

1
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
2
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford OX10 8BB, UK
3
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Institut d’Écologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement de Paris, Univ Paris-Est Créteil, F-94010 Creteil, France
4
Institut d’Écologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement de Paris, Sorbonne Université, F-75005 Paris, France
5
Institut d’Écologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement de Paris, Université de Paris, F-75013 Paris, France
6
National Museums of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(8), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080478
Received: 25 May 2020 / Revised: 1 July 2020 / Accepted: 18 July 2020 / Published: 28 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Population Genetics of Insects)
The biology of parasitoids in natural ecosystems remains very poorly studied, though they are key species for their functioning. Here we focused on Phobocampe confusa, a Nymphalini specialist, responsible for high mortality rates in charismatic butterfly species in Europe (genus Aglais). We studied its ecology and genetic structure in connection with those of its host butterflies in Sweden. To this aim, we gathered data from 428 P. confusa individuals reared from 6094 butterfly larvae (of A. urticae, A. io, and in two occasions of Araschnia levana) collected over two years (2017 and 2018) and across 19 sites distributed along a 500 km latitudinal gradient. We found that P. confusa is widely distributed along the latitudinal gradient. Its distribution seems constrained over time by the phenology of its hosts. The large variation in climatic conditions between sampling years explains the decrease in phenological overlap between P. confusa and its hosts in 2018 and the 33.5% decrease in the number of butterfly larvae infected. At least in this study, P. confusa seems to favour A. urticae as host. While it parasitized nests of A. urticae and A. io equally, the proportion of larvae parasitized is significantly higher for A. urticae. At the landscape scale, P. confusa is almost exclusively found in vegetated open land and near deciduous forests, whereas artificial habitats are negatively correlated with the likelihood of a nest to be parasitized. The genetic analyses on 89 adult P. confusa and 87 adult A. urticae using CO1 and AFLP markers reveal a low genetic diversity in P. confusa and a lack of genetic structure in both species, at the scale of our sampling. Further genetic studies using high-resolution genomics tools will be required to better understand the population genetic structure of P. confusa, its biotic interactions with its hosts, and ultimately the stability and the functioning of natural ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: A. urticae; A. io; genetic variation; landscape heterogeneity; phenology A. urticae; A. io; genetic variation; landscape heterogeneity; phenology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Audusseau, H.; Baudrin, G.; Shaw, M.R.; Keehnen, N.L.P.; Schmucki, R.; Dupont, L. Ecology and Genetic Structure of the Parasitoid Phobocampe confusa (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) in Relation to Its Hosts, Aglais Species (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Insects 2020, 11, 478. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080478

AMA Style

Audusseau H, Baudrin G, Shaw MR, Keehnen NLP, Schmucki R, Dupont L. Ecology and Genetic Structure of the Parasitoid Phobocampe confusa (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) in Relation to Its Hosts, Aglais Species (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Insects. 2020; 11(8):478. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080478

Chicago/Turabian Style

Audusseau, Hélène, Gaspard Baudrin, Mark R. Shaw, Naomi L.P. Keehnen, Reto Schmucki, and Lise Dupont. 2020. "Ecology and Genetic Structure of the Parasitoid Phobocampe confusa (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) in Relation to Its Hosts, Aglais Species (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)" Insects 11, no. 8: 478. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11080478

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