Parasitoid biology preserved in mineralized fossils

Thomas van de Kamp*, Achim H. Schwermann, Tomy dos Santos Rolo, Philipp D. Lösel, Thomas Engler, Walter Etter, Tomáš Faragó, Jörg Göttlicher, Vincent Heuveline, Andreas Kopmann, Bastian Mähler, Thomas Mörs, Janes Odar, Jes Rust, Nicholas Tan Jerome, Matthias Vogelgesang, Tilo Baumbach, Lars Krogmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

About 50% of all animal species are considered parasites. The linkage of species diversity to a parasitic lifestyle is especially evident in the insect order Hymenoptera. However, fossil evidence for host–parasitoid interactions is extremely rare, rendering hypotheses on the evolution of parasitism assumptive. Here, using high-throughput synchrotron X-ray microtomography, we examine 1510 phosphatized fly pupae from the Paleogene of France and identify 55 parasitation events by four wasp species, providing morphological and ecological data. All species developed as solitary endoparasitoids inside their hosts and exhibit different morphological adaptations for exploiting the same hosts in one habitat. Our results allow systematic and ecological placement of four distinct endoparasitoids in the Paleogene and highlight the need to investigate ecological data preserved in the fossil record.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3325
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

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