Molecular characterization of Chrysoperla carnea (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) from commercial insectaries in Mexico
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The larvae of the Chrysoperla carnea-group (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) are recognized among the most effective larval predators of various phytophagous arthropods. Therefore, green lacewings are commonly grown by commercial insectaries and released as biological control agents. Previous work has shown that commercial laboratories frequently supply indeterminate species of the large C. carnea cryptic species complex. In Mexico, at least 20 biological control companies have commercialized the species C. carnea, but none of the products reared by those companies have been analyzed scientifically. Thus, the goal of this work was to molecularly characterize nine C. carnea populations from Mexican insectaries using the most efficient molecular markers available: the mitochondrial genes COI, COII, ND2, and ND5. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a unique mitochondrial haplotype in seven commercial insectaries showing 100% similarity to the reference specimen C. plorabunda E100. In contrast, we observed two and four different mitochondrial haplotypes of the carnea-group in two commercial insectaries. More precisely, three specimens possessed the mitochondrial haplotype of the species C. zastrowi, suggesting possible natural occurrence of this haplotype in Mexico. Consequently, this study demonstrated the need for an extensive survey of the different laboratories and insectaries producing C. carnea in Mexico, including unambiguous species identification by song recordings to confirm the species identity of the observed mitochondrial haplotypes.
KeywordsChrysoperla plorabunda Chrysoperla zastrowi Chrysoperla zastrowi sillemi Green lacewings Mitochondrial haplotype Carnea-group
We thank the technician C. Manuel Bravo-Núñez for his valuable support in C. carnea (sensu lato) production. We acknowledge Charles S. Henry (University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA) for helpful discussions, comments, and English editing that greatly improved the manuscript.
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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