The Charipinae are a major group of hyperparasitoids of Hemiptera. Here, we present the first cladistic analysis of this subfamily's internal relationships, based on 96 morphological characters of adults. The data matrix was analysed using uniformly weighted parsimony. The effects of using alternative weighting schemes were explored by performing additional searches employing implied weights criteria. One of the caveats of implied weights analysis is that it lacks an objective criterion for selecting the value of the concavity function. In the present study, differential weighting was used to explore the sensitivity of our results to the alternative assumptions made in the analysis and to select one of the most parsimonious trees under equal weights, which we regard as being the hypothesis that minimizes the amount of ad hoc assumptions. The validity of the two existing tribes and the monophyly of all the genera of Charipinae were tested, in particular the cosmopolitan and highly species-rich Alloxysta and Phaenoglyphis, which appear repeatedly in ecological and biochemical studies of host-parasitoid associations. The evolution of several major characters and the relationships between genera are discussed. On the basis of the phylogenetic results, we discuss a number of taxonomic issues. A new classification of the subfamily is proposed in which no tribes are maintained, Carvercharips is synonymyzed with Alloxysta, and the creation of a new genus from Nepal is justified. Our analysis points to the need for a world revision of the basal genus Phaenoglyphis, which is shown as paraphyletic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Molecular Biology