Identification Keys to the Economically Important Species of Cotesia

  • Sharkey, Michael (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The goal of this study is to produce a user-mendly interactive identification key to the economically important species of Cotesia, a microgastrine braconid wasp genus which contains many species important in the classical biological control and naturally-occurring control of caterpillar pests throughout the world. The keys will be contructed using IntKey, a portion of the popular Delta package, and will feature color photographs, and SEM photos as well as much compiled information about each species. Users will be able to tailor the identification process to employ features they can see best. Approximately 80 species will be treated, many of which have not been previously illustrated in the literature, despite being important in agriculture. Examples of 4 species pages, and preliminary keys to theses species, are presented for trial. The proposal makes use of the expertise of Dr. Mike Sharkey, who is highly experienced in the use of Intkey for development of interactive identification keys, and that of Dr. James Whitfield, an expert in the group being keyed. The project is anticipated to take two years, first f01'consultation of reference material of these species and photography of them (much of which will be conducted by PI Whitfield at the University of lllinois, and finally for actual construction of the interactive keys, most of which will take place at the University of Kentucky. Two graduate students, one at the University of lllinois and one at the University of Kentucky, will be trained in the taxonomy of the group and in the construction of interactive identification keys.
Effective start/end date9/15/029/14/05


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