A multilocus phylogeny of the world Sycoecinae fig wasps (Chalcidoidea: Pteromalidae)

The Sycoecinae is one of five chalcid subfamilies of fig wasps that are mostly dependent on Ficus inflorescences for reproduction. Here, we analysed two mitochondrial ( COI , Cyt b ) and four nuclear genes (ITS2, EF-1α, RpL27a, mago nashi ) from a worldwide sample of 56 sycoecine species. Various alignment and partitioning strategies were used to test the stability of major clades. All topologies estimated using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods were similar and well resolved but did not support the existing classification. A high degree of morphological convergence was highlighted and several species appeared best described as species complexes. We therefore proposed a new classification for the subfamily. Our analyses revealed several cases of probable speciation on the same host trees (up to 8 closely related species on one single tree of F. sumatrana ), which raises the question of how resource partitioning occurs to avoid competitive exclusion. Comparisons of our results with fig phylogenies showed that, despite sycoecines being internally ovipositing wasps host-switches are common incidents in their evolutionary history. Finally, by studying the evolutionary properties of the markers we used and profiling their phylogenetic informativeness, we predicted their utility for resolving phylogenetic relationships of Chalcidoidea at various taxonomic levels.