The sister group of Aculeata (Hymenoptera) – evidence from internal head anatomy
· Managed by: Dominique Zimmermann
The Aculeata comprises some of the best known Hymenoptera. Traditionally, their sister group has been considered to be the Ichneumo-noidea, however, recent phylogenetic analyses contradict this hypothesis. We evaluate three potential candidates for the sister group of aculeate wasps: Ichneumonoidea, Evanioidea and Trigonaloidea. This is addressed by investigating the internal head anatomy of repre-sentatives of the relevant taxa, specifically the tentorium, musculature and glands. One species each of the families Braconidae, Evaniidae, Gasteruptiidae, Aulacidae and Trigonalidae, as well as Sphecidae and Sapygidae as representatives of Aculeata, and Ibaliidae as outgroup is examined. 33 head anatomical characters are mapped on the three competing hypotheses. Aculeata + Evanioidea are corroborated by the presence of a secondary bridge, the presence of a subforaminal cup and the presence of one medial sulcus on the ventral head sclerotisation instead of two sublateral ones. Trigonaloidea + (Aculeata + Evanioidea) is corroborated by the presence of a bent cibarium. The presence of a hypopharyngeal gland, the backwards shift of the origin of the antennal muscles, the loss of the connection of the dorsal tentorial arms with the head capsule and the loss of ventral salivarial dilators are retrieved as synapomorphies of Aculeata. Two hitherto unknown glands, a hypopharyngeal salivary gland in Sphecidae and Sapygidae and a hypopharyngeal-maxillary gland in Evaniidae, are described.