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Table 2 Calculations of hymenopteran species richness, given numbers of described insect species in other orders and P:H ratios estimated in this paper

From: Quantifying the unquantifiable: why Hymenoptera, not Coleoptera, is the most speciose animal order

  High P:H estimates from case studies Low P:H estimates from case studies Half of lowest estimates from case studies
Diptera (152,244) 228,366 199,440 99,720
Lepidoptera (156,793) 286,931 156,793 78,397
Coleoptera (359,891) 494,850 406,677 203,338
Non-parasitoid Hymenoptera (~ 62,000) 79,980 58,900 29,450
All other insect orders (335,970) 0a 0a 0a
Total parasitoid Hymenoptera 1,107,487 833,590 416,795
Non-parasitoid Hymenoptera (to add to calculated parasitoid numbers) 62,000 62,000 62,000
Total Hymenoptera 1,152,127 883,810 472,905
  1. Combining conservative P:H ratio estimates from four case studies with numbers of described species in the four largest insect orders [33, 75] offers an idea of how species richness of the Hymenoptera may compare with that of other orders
  2. aParastioids attack hosts in all other insect orders, but these are omitted as we did not estimate P:H ratios for any hosts in these orders. Total numbers therefore exclude large numbers of hymenopteran species