Data from: Evolution of wing shape in hornets: why is the wing venation efficient for species identification?
Perrard, Adrien; Baylac, Michel; Carpenter, James M.; Villemant, Claire (2015), Data from: Evolution of wing shape in hornets: why is the wing venation efficient for species identification?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2cv1h
Wing venation has long been used for insect identification. Lately, the characterization of venation shape using geometric morphometrics has further improved the potential of using the wing for insect identification. However, external factors inducing variation in wing shape could obscure specific differences, preventing accurate discrimination of species in heterogeneous samples. Here, we show that interspecific difference is the main source of wing shape variation within social wasps. We found that a naive clustering of wing shape data from taxonomically and geographically heterogeneous samples of workers returned groups congruent with species. We also confirmed that individuals can be reliably attributed to their genus, species and populations on the basis of their wing shape. Our results suggested that the shape variation reflects the evolutionary history with a potential influence of other factors such as body shape, climate and mimicry selective pressures. However, the high dimensionality of wing shape variation may have prevented absolute convergences between the different species. Wing venation shape is thus a taxonomically relevant marker combining the accuracy of quantitative characters with the specificity required for identification criteria. This marker may also highlight adaptive processes that could help understand the wing's influence on insect flight.