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  • A. Le Ralec (a1), J.M. Rabasse (a2) and E. Wajnberg (a2)


Although the structure of the ovipositor of parasitic Hymenoptera is largely uniform, interspecific variation in its morphology can be observed. Such variability may be related to the diversity of hosts attacked. To verify such an hypothesis, we compared, using correspondence analysis, the morphological characteristics of the ovipositors of 20 species in three categories: (i) species belonging to the same taxonomic unit and attacking the same type of host, (ii) species belonging to the same taxonomic unit but attacking different types of host, and (iii) species belonging to different taxonomic units but attacking the same type of host. Results show that variability in some morphological traits of the ovipositor can be related to host characteristics. Adaptive convergence in morphological variations observed between species is discussed.

L’ovipositeur des Hyménoptères parasites présente une structure très constante mais il existe de grandes variations morphologiques entre les espèces. Ces variations pourraient être reliées à la diversité des hôtes attaqués. Pour vérifier cette hypothèse, nous avons comparé, en utilisant une analyse des correspondances, les caractères morphologiques de l’ovipositeur de 20 espèces dans les trois cas suivants : (i) des espèces appartenant à la même unité taxonomique et attaquant le même type d’hôtes, (ii) des espèces appartenant à la même unité taxonomique mais attaquant des hôtes de types différents et (iii) des espèces appartenant à des unités taxonomiques différentes mais attaquant le même type d’hôtes. Les résultats montrent que les variations morphologiques de certains caractères de l’ovipositeur peuvent être mises en relation avec des caractéristiques de l’hôte importantes pour la réussite du processus d’infestation. L’éventuelle signification adaptative de la diversité morphologique observée entre les espèces est discutée.


Corresponding author

1Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Current address: ENSA.R, Laboratoire d'Ecologie et Sciences Phytosanitaires, 65 rue de Saint Brieuc, 35042 Rennes cedex, France.


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The Canadian Entomologist
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