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A phylogenetic investigation of the Neotropical genus Alphamenes van der Vecht, 1977 (Hymenoptera, Vespidae, Eumeninae)
- Oliveira, Letícia A. de, Inez, Tiago G., Ferreira, Wellington D., Hermes, Marcel G.
- Revista Brasileira de entomologia 2019 v.63 no.1 pp. 73-79
- Neotropics, Vespidae, data collection, fauna, females, male genitalia, males, monophyly, taxonomy, wasps
- Advances in potter wasp systematics have been achieved recently, with classificatory changes resulting from analyses based upon large scale molecular datasets. For the Neotropics, recent hypotheses point to the occurrence of an exclusive clade recognized within the tribe Eumenini. In this group, several contributions regarding taxonomy and systematics have been proposed in the last five years, including the genus Alphamenes. This taxon contains seven described species whose distribution is exclusively Neotropical. Females are morphologically homogeneous, and characters related to copulatory organs are useful in male diagnosis. This contribution forms the first phylogenetic approach to include all species of Alphamenes, hence the first to strongly test for group monophyly. Our cladistic results recovered Alphamenes as a monophyletic group supported by male genital features. Relationships among included species also rely upon genitalic characters, highlighting the importance of these attributes for eumenine systematics. Recent phylogenetic investigations applied to the Neotropical fauna of potter wasps represent desirable advancements towards a natural classification for the group.