Terry Reynolds – Doctoral Researcher in the Entomology Collections
M.Sc. Zoology (Stellenbosch University) 2011
Ph.D. Zoology (Stellenbosch University)
Systematics of the parasitic wasp subfamily Banchinae (Hymenoptera; Ichneumonidae) with an investigation into species richness in the Afrotropical region
Dr. Simon van Noort (Iziko SA Museum)
Prof. Conrad Matthee (Stellenbosch University)
Terry at Kirstenbosch
Short description of project:
Approximately one out of ten insect species is a parasitoid, that is, their larvae develop by feeding on or in other insects, and almost every pest insect species has at least one wasp species that parasitizes it. As a result they are increasingly used in agricultural biocontrol of insect pests. In addition, parasitic wasps, along with other parasitic insects, are important bioindicators because they are representative of the diversity and taxon richness of the host they attack. They also play an important role in tropical interactions and food web dynamics. With tropical diversity disappearing at an alarming rate, it highlights the need for an accurate assessment of parasitoid diversity.
Ichneumonidae is estimated to possibly be the largest family on earth, with over 100 000 species. However, the Ichneumonidae fauna of the Afrotropical region is still poorly known. The aim of the project is to elucidate the underlying mechanisms driving the evolution of the subfamily Banchinae, using a morphological and genetic approach, and to provide insights into species richness in the Afrotropics.
Natural History Department
IzikoSouth African Museum
PO Box 61
Cape Town 8000
Tel:+27 (0)21 481 3864
Fax: +27 (0)21 481 3993