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Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Report

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A survey of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Grand Teton National Park reveals undiscovered (but not unexpected) diversity, as well as changes in diversity associated with the bark beetle epidemic and the unusually warm, dry year. Our 2012 survey found nearly the same number of Braconidae subfamilies (18 vs 19) as a 2002 survey (Shaw 2002); a remarkable amount of diversity given that the 2002 survey was based upon five times as many specimens. Eleven species found in this study are new distribution records for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), which points to much undiscovered local diversity. Differences from previous studies are possibly due to the unusual warmth and dryness of spring 2012, along with some influence from beetle kill. We provide a list of parasitoids and predators associated with mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), a stepping stone for further research to determine the role of natural enemies in bark beetle outbreak dynamics in the GYE.