With the advent of integrated pest management, the conservation of indigenous populations of natural enemies of pest species has become a relevant practice, necessitating the accurate identification of beneficial species and the inspection of evolutionary mechanisms affecting the long-time persistence of their populations. The long hoverfly,Sphaerophoria scripta, represents one of the most potent aphidophagous control agents due to a worldwide distribution and a favorable constellation of biological traits. Therefore, we assessed five EuropeanS. scriptapopulations by combining molecular (cytochromecoxidase subunit I-COI, internal transcribed spacer 2-ITS2, and allozyme loci) and morphological (wing size and shape) characters.COIsequences retrieved in this study were conjointly analyzed with BOLD/GenBank sequences of the otherSphaerophoriaspecies to evaluate whetherCOIpossessed a sufficient diagnostic value as a DNA barcode marker to consistently delimit allospecific individuals. Additionally, the aforementioned characters were used to inspect the population structure ofS. scriptain Europe using methods based on individual- and population-based genetic differences, as well as geometric morphometrics of wing traits. The results indicate numerous sharedCOIhaplotypes among differentSphaerophoriaspecies, thus disqualifying this marker from being an adequate barcoding region in this genus. Conversely, the analyses of population structuring revealed high population connectivity across Europe, therefore indicating strong tolerance ofS. scriptato environmental heterogeneity. The results imply a multilocus approach as the next step in molecular identification of differentSphaerophoriaspecies, while confirming the status ofS. scriptaas a powerful biocontrol agent of economically relevant aphid pests.
|Tijdschrift||Ecology and Evolution|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||17|
|Status||Published - sep.-2020|