Many of the >22,000 described species of parasitoids in the Chalcidoidea attack armored scale insects, a group that may contain many cryptic species. Because the diversity of both these groups may be high, associations between them are likely to be underreported, and accurate reporting requires direct association between parasitoids and their scale insect hosts. One group of well-known armored scale insects are the pine-feeding Chionaspis of North America, which have been considered to be two species of economic pests, and have over a century of parasitoid records. These Chionaspis have been revealed to be a complex of at least 10, mostly cryptic, species. We have sequenced chalcidoid 28S rDNA from 50 parasitized Chionaspis hosts. We explore these host-parasitoid associations by placing the parasitoid sequences in a phylogenetic context. We aligned the sequences manually, based on secondary structure models, and added them to a previous 28S secondary structure alignment for the Chalcidoidea that includes 19 families, 72 subfamilies, 369 genera, and 685 species. The results of maximum likelihood analyses were interpreted using an updated, comprehensive list of parasitoids recorded from pine-feeding Chionaspis. The sequences are placed in nine clades, only two of which appear consistent with known Chionaspis parasitoids. Although pine-feeding Chionaspis are among the best-known armored scales, our results indicate that their parasitoid diversity has been underreported.
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