Doctor of Entomology (PENTM)



Document Type



Taxonomy is a fundamental scientific study in biology, which defines, classifies, and names biological organisms. Braconidae Latreille, 1829 (Hymenoptera) is a megadiverse insect family in need of continuing taxonomic research. Among 45 braconid subfamilies, Cardiochilinae Ashmead, 1900 has had little attention by braconid taxonomists during the previous twenty years. In this dissertation, seven cardiochiline genera, Bohayella Belokobylskij, 1987, Heteropteron Brullé, 1846, Neocardiochiles Szépligeti, 1908, Orientocardiochiles Kang & Long, 2020, Retusigaster Dangerfield, Austin, & Whitfield, 1999, Schoenlandella Cameron, 1905 and Wesmaelella Spinola, 1851 are taxonomically reviewed and investigated. Orientocardiochiles was described as a new genus, the first new genus in the last twenty-three years. Neocardiochiles has been resurrected, and the relationships among Heteropteron, Neocardiochiles, and Wesmaelella were re-evaluated using a phylogeny based on morphological data. In the Neocardiochiles project, five new species of Neocardiochiles were described and five new combinations proposed. New distribution records of Bohayella from Costa Rica and Ecuador were reported, and three new species of the genus have been described. In addition, six species of Retusigaster and Schoenlandella have been newly described with information about potential food sources for R. arugosus (Mao, 1949) and R. pushi Kang, 2022 and potential host insect species of S. montserratensis Kang, 2021. Molecular data of some species have been obtained and deposited in GenBank, which can be utilized in future research. Traditional and interactive identification keys have been constructed and high-quality key images are provided. Eighteen genera and 237 species of Cardiochilinae have now been recorded. Taxonomic data obtained in the dissertation will be fundamental for future basic and applied agricultural and biological research



Committee Chair

Diaz, Rodrigo