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Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology
Volume 23 (2), 2020, Pages 540-545

Genetic diversity of genus Vespa including an invaded species of V. velutina (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in Korea inferred from DNA barcoding data

Saeed Mohamadzade Namina,b, ChuleuiJunga,c

Agricultural Science and Technology Institute, Andong National University, Republic of Korea.


With about 5000 known species, the Vespidae is a large family belongs to order Hymenoptera. The genus Vespa with 22 species is one of the four genera of the subfamily Vespinae. In Korea, 10 species and subspecies are recognized. Because of their social behavior, their treat to human health and their impact in apiculture, the reliable and sometimes automated identification of these insects to species level are important. To test the efficacy of DNA barcoding method for identification of species of the genus Vespa in Korea, 30 samples of eight Korean species of genus Vespa were collected and mitochondrial DNAs of 658 bp fragment cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) region were sequenced. A Bayesian Inference based on COI gene of the Korean Vespa species was constructed. The phylogenetic tree shoed that identification of all specimens is possible based on COI gene and we found strong relation between the sequences of the collected species from different localities in South Korea which clustered together with 100% support with sequences of the same species in GenBank. The results demonstrate that DNA barcoding is a useful technique for rapid and accurate species recognition in Korean Vespa species. The DNA barcode part of COI for V. binghami is provided for the first time that can help for identification of this species through DNA barcoding. Also, the genetic diversity among Korean Vespa velutina was zero suggests that the invasion might have occurred in a single event with small number of founders.

Keywords: Vespidae, Molecular identification, South Korea, cytochrome oxidase I.

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