van de Kamp T., Schwermann A.H., dos Santos Rolo T., Losel P.D., Engler T., Etter W., Farago T., Gottlicher J., Heuveline V., Kopmann A., Mahler B., Mors T., Odar J., Rust J., Tan Jerome N., Vogelgesang M., Baumbach T., Krogmann L.

in Nature Communications, 9 (2018), 3325. DOI:10.1038/s41467-018-05654-y


© 2018, The Author(s). About 50% of all animal species are considered parasites. The linkage of species diversity to a parasitic lifestyle is especially evident in the insect order Hymenoptera. However, fossil evidence for host–parasitoid interactions is extremely rare, rendering hypotheses on the evolution of parasitism assumptive. Here, using high-throughput synchrotron X-ray microtomography, we examine 1510 phosphatized fly pupae from the Paleogene of France and identify 55 parasitation events by four wasp species, providing morphological and ecological data. All species developed as solitary endoparasitoids inside their hosts and exhibit different morphological adaptations for exploiting the same hosts in one habitat. Our results allow systematic and ecological placement of four distinct endoparasitoids in the Paleogene and highlight the need to investigate ecological data preserved in the fossil record.