The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change
is a research museum of the Leibniz Association
Link to Leibniz Association
Hymenoptera are a mega-diverse order of endopterygote insects and encompass more than 120,000 described species. Tightly correlated with the huge taxonomical diversity of Hymenoptera is the diversity of life histories of Hymenoptera species. The order contains literally thousands of endo- and ectoparasitoid species that are or can be used for BioControl of insect pests, and the Hymenoptera venoms represent a rich pharmacopeia of potential new drugs. Many phylogenetic relationships within the order Hymenoptera are still not understood (e.g., what is the sister lineage of the famous and medically important Aculeata, i.e., the Hymenoptera, whose ovipositor has been modified to a stinger?). Associated with this lack of phylogenetic resolution is the difficulty to infer, how often and where specifically endoparasitism, phytophagy, and eusociality have evolved in the Hymenoptera. This project aims to infer the evolutionary history of Hymenoptera by analyzing transcriptome data of more than 200 species of sawflies, wasps, and bees.