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Tales of dracula ants: the evolutionary history of the ant subfamily Amblyoponinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Published on Jul 1, 2016in Systematic Entomology 3.73
· DOI :10.1111/syen.12186
Philip S. Ward31
Estimated H-index: 31
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis),
Brian L. Fisher32
Estimated H-index: 32
(California Academy of Sciences)
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Abstract
The ants in the subfamily Amblyoponinae are an old, relictual group with an unusual suite of morphological and behavioural features. Adult workers pierce the integument of their larvae to imbibe haemolymph, earning them the vernacular name ‘dracula ants’. We investigate the phylogeny of this group with a data set based on 54 ingroup taxa, 23 outgroups and 11 nuclear gene fragments (7.4 kb). We find that the genus Opamyrma has been misplaced in this subfamily: it is a member of the leptanilline clade and sister to all other extant Leptanillinae. Transfer of Opamyrma to Leptanillinae renders the Amblyoponinae monophyletic. The enigmatic Afrotropical genus Apomyrma is sister to all other amblyoponines, and the latter cleave into two distinct and well-supported clades, here termed POA and XMMAS. The POA clade, containing Prionopelta, Onychomyrmex and Amblyopone, is well resolved internally, and its structure supports synonymy of the genus Concoctio under Prionopelta (syn.n.). The XMMAS clade comprises two well-supported groups: (i) a predominantly Neotropical clade, for which we resurrect the genus name Fulakora (stat.r., stat.n.), with junior synonyms Paraprionopelta (syn.n.) and Ericapelta (syn.n.); and (ii) the remaining taxa, or ‘core XMMAS’, which are manifested in our study as a poorly resolved bush of about a dozen lineages, suggesting rapid radiation at the time of their origin. Most of these XMMAS lineages have been assigned to the catch-all genus Stigmatomma, but the more distinctive elements have been treated as separate genera (Xymmer, Mystrium, Myopopone and Adetomyrma). Resolution of basal relationships in the core XMMAS clade and reconfiguration of ‘Stigmatomma’ to restore monophyly of all named genera will require more extensive genetic data and additional morphological analysis. However, the genus Bannapone can be synonymized under Stigmatomma (syn.n.) because it is embedded within a clade that contains S. denticulatum, the type species of Stigmatomma. Divergence dating analysis indicates that crown Amblyoponinae arose in the mid-Cretaceous, about 107 Ma (95% highest probability density: 93–121 Ma). The POA and XMMAS clades have estimated crown ages of 47 and 73 Ma, respectively. The initial burst of diversification in the core XMMAS clade occurred in the Late Paleocene/Early Eocene (50–60 Ma). Ancestral range reconstruction suggests that amblyoponines originated in the Afrotropics, and dispersed to the Indo-Malayan region and to the New World. During none of these dispersal events did the ants break out of their cryptobiotic lifestyle.
  • References (47)
  • Citations (11)
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References47
Newest
Published on Dec 1, 2015in BMC Evolutionary Biology 3.04
Bonnie B. Blaimer10
Estimated H-index: 10
(National Museum of Natural History),
Seán G. Brady29
Estimated H-index: 29
(National Museum of Natural History)
+ 3 AuthorsPhilip S. Ward31
Estimated H-index: 31
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
Background Ultraconserved elements (UCEs) have been successfully used in phylogenomics for a variety of taxa, but their power in phylogenetic inference has yet to be extensively compared with that of traditional Sanger sequencing data sets. Moreover, UCE data on invertebrates, including insects, are sparse. We compared the phylogenetic informativeness of 959 UCE loci with a multi-locus data set of ten nuclear markers obtained via Sanger sequencing, testing the ability of these two types of data ...
67 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 7, 2015in Zootaxa 0.99
Katsuyuki Eguchi4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Tokyo Metropolitan University),
Bui Tuan Viet2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 1 AuthorsMamoru Terayama11
Estimated H-index: 11
The ant genus Bannapone was established by Xu in 2000 and has been recognized as one of the rarest ant genera in the world. In the course of our careful examination of Asian species of Stigmatomma , we have found that the following Stigmatomma species share a unique morphological characteristic in mandibular dentition with Bannapone mulanae and B. scrobiceps : Stigmatomma caliginosum (Onoyama, 1999), Stigmatomma fulvida (Terayama, 1987), S. pertinax (Baroni Urbani, 1978), S. zwaluwenburgi Willia...
2 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2015in New Phytologist 7.30
Michael J. Donoghue82
Estimated H-index: 82
(Yale University),
Michael J. Sanderson54
Estimated H-index: 54
(UA: University of Arizona)
Summary We review the empirical phylogenetic literature on plant diversification, highlighting challenges in separating the effects of speciation and extinction, in specifying diversification mechanisms, and in making convincing arguments. In recent discussions of context dependence, key opportunitiesandlandscapes,andindirecteffectsandlagtimes,weseeadistinctshiftawayfrom single-point/single-cause 'key innovation' hypotheses toward more nuanced explanations involving multiple interacting causal a...
64 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2015in Systematic Biology 10.27
Tianqi Zhu8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Beijing Institute of Genomics),
Mario dos Reis23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Beijing Institute of Genomics),
Ziheng Yang82
Estimated H-index: 82
(Beijing Institute of Genomics)
Genetic sequence data provide information about the distances between species or branch lengths in a phylogeny, but not about the absolute divergence times or the evolutionary rates directly. Bayesian methods for dating species divergences estimate times and rates by assigning priors on them. In particular, the prior on times (node ages on the phylogeny) incorporates information in the fossil record to calibrate the molecular tree. Because times and rates are confounded, our posterior time estim...
30 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2015
Philip S. Ward31
Estimated H-index: 31
,
Seán G. Brady29
Estimated H-index: 29
+ 1 AuthorsTed R. Schultz33
Estimated H-index: 33
135 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2015in Systematic Entomology 3.73
Philip S. Ward31
Estimated H-index: 31
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis),
Seán G. Brady29
Estimated H-index: 29
(National Museum of Natural History)
+ 1 AuthorsTed R. Schultz33
Estimated H-index: 33
(National Museum of Natural History)
This study investigates the evolutionary history of a hyperdiverse clade, the ant subfamily Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), based on analyses of a data matrix comprising 251 species and 11 nuclear gene fragments. Under both maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods of inference, we recover a robust phylogeny that reveals six major clades of Myrmicinae, here treated as newly defined tribes and occur- ring as a pectinate series: Myrmicini, Pogonomyrmecini trib.n., Stenammini, Solenop- sidini, ...
152 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 23, 2014in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 10.88
Philip S. Ward1
Estimated H-index: 1
Originating most likely in the early Cretaceous, ants have diversified to become the world’s most successful eusocial insects, occupying most terrestrial ecosystems and acquiring a global ecological footprint. Recent advances in our understanding of ant evolutionary history have been propelled by the use of molecular phylogenetic methods, in conjunction with a rich (and still growing) fossil record. Most extant ants belong to the formicoid clade, which contains ∼90% of described species and has ...
41 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2014in Systematic Biology 10.27
Mario dos Reis23
Estimated H-index: 23
(UCL: University College London),
Tianqi Zhu8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Beijing Institute of Genomics),
Ziheng Yang82
Estimated H-index: 82
(UCL: University College London)
Bayesian methods provide a powerful way to estimate species divergence times by combining information from molecular sequences with information from the fossil record. With the explosive increase of genomic data, divergence time estimation increasingly uses data of multiple loci (genes or site partitions). Widely used computer programs to estimate divergence times use independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) priors on the substitution rates for different loci. The i.i.d. prior is problem...
41 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 10, 2014in PLOS Computational Biology
Remco R. Bouckaert25
Estimated H-index: 25
(University of Auckland),
Joseph Heled12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Auckland)
+ 6 AuthorsAlexei J. Drummond56
Estimated H-index: 56
(University of Auckland)
We present a new open source, extensible and flexible software platform for Bayesian evolutionary analysis called BEAST 2. This software platform is a re-design of the popular BEAST 1 platform to correct structural deficiencies that became evident as the BEAST 1 software evolved. Key among those deficiencies was the lack of post-deployment extensibility. BEAST 2 now has a fully developed package management system that allows third party developers to write additional functionality that can be di...
1,842 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 1, 2013in Current Biology 9.19
Brian R. Johnson20
Estimated H-index: 20
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis),
Marek L. Borowiec8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
+ 3 AuthorsPhilip S. Ward31
Estimated H-index: 31
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
Summary Eusocial behavior has arisen in few animal groups, most notably in the aculeate Hymenoptera, a clade comprising ants, bees, and stinging wasps [1–4]. Phylogeny is crucial to understanding the evolution of the salient features of these insects, including eusociality [5]. Yet the phylogenetic relationships among the major lineages of aculeate Hymenoptera remain contentious [6–12]. We address this problem here by generating and analyzing genomic data for a representative series of taxa. We ...
98 Citations Source Cite
Cited By11
Newest
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Royal Society Open Science 2.52
Fredrick J. Larabee5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign),
Adrian A. Smith10
Estimated H-index: 10
(NCSU: North Carolina State University),
Andrew V. Suarez45
Estimated H-index: 45
(UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)
What is the limit of animal speed and what mechanisms produce the fastest movements? More than natural history trivia, the answer provides key insight into the form–function relationship of musculoskeletal movement and can determine the outcome of predator–prey interactions. The fastest known animal movements belong to arthropods, including trap-jaw ants, mantis shrimp and froghoppers, that have incorporated latches and springs into their appendage systems to overcome the limits of muscle power....
2 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2018in Journal of Experimental Zoology 1.72
Julien Béhague1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Paris),
Brian L. Fisher32
Estimated H-index: 32
(California Academy of Sciences)
+ 3 AuthorsMathieu Molet11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Paris)
2 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2017in BMC Evolutionary Biology 3.04
Matthew Prebus1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
Temnothorax (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is a diverse genus of ants found in a broad spectrum of ecosystems across the northern hemisphere. These diminutive ants have long served as models for social insect behavior, leading to discoveries about social learning and inspiring hypotheses about the process of speciation and the evolution of social parasitism. This genus is highly morphologically and behaviorally diverse, and this has caused a great deal of taxonomic confusion in recent years. Past effo...
11 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 2, 2017in ZooKeys 1.14
Feng Chuan Hsu (NTU: National Taiwan University), Flavia A. Esteves (California Academy of Sciences)+ 1 AuthorsChung-Chi Lin
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Published on Oct 1, 2017in Systematic Entomology 3.73
Phillip Barden6
Estimated H-index: 6
(NJIT: New Jersey Institute of Technology),
Hollister W. Herhold1
Estimated H-index: 1
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History),
David A. Grimaldi40
Estimated H-index: 40
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)
An unusual Cretaceous trap jaw ant is described from Burmese amber dated to the Late Cretaceous. Linguamyrmex vladi gen.n. sp.n. is distinguished by an unusual suite of morphological characters indicating specialized predatory behaviour and an adaptive strategy no longer found among modern ant lineages. The clypeus, highly modified as in other closely related haidomyrmecine hell ants, is equipped with a paddle-like projection similar to Ceratomyrmex. X-ray imaging reveals that this clypeal paddl...
6 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2017in Systematic Entomology 3.73
Ana Ješovnik6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UMD: University of Maryland, College Park),
Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UR: University of Rochester)
+ 3 AuthorsTed R. Schultz2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)
Ants in the Neotropical genus Sericomyrmex Mayr cultivate fungi for food. Both ants and fungi are obligate, coevolved symbionts. The taxonomy of Sericomyrmex is problematic because the morphology of the worker caste is generally homogeneous across all of the species within the genus, species limits are vague, and the relationships between them are unknown. We used ultraconserved elements (UCEs) as genome-scale markers to reconstruct evolutionary history and to infer species boundaries in Sericom...
20 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2017in Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7.10
Michael G. Branstetter11
Estimated H-index: 11
(UofU: University of Utah),
John T. Longino28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UofU: University of Utah)
+ 1 AuthorsBrant C. Faircloth30
Estimated H-index: 30
(LSU: Louisiana State University)
Summary Targeted enrichment of conserved genomic regions (e.g. ultraconserved elements or UCEs) has emerged as a promising tool for inferring evolutionary history in many organismal groups. Because the UCE approach is still relatively new, much remains to be learned about how best to identify UCE loci and design baits to enrich them. We test an updated UCE identification and bait design workflow for the insect order Hymenoptera, with a particular focus on ants. The new strategy augments a previo...
29 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2016in Systematic Entomology 3.73
Brendon E. Boudinot3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis),
Rodolfo S. Probst2
Estimated H-index: 2
(USP: University of São Paulo)
+ 2 AuthorsPhilip S. Ward31
Estimated H-index: 31
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
Spider ants of the genus Leptomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) are conspicuous species of Australasian rainforests, with putative fossil relatives in the Neotropics and Europe. There is longstanding debate over the biogeographical history of the genus, with the Palaearctic and Neotropical regions proposed as alternate centres of origin. We propose a resolution of this debate with the recent discovery and analysis of an extant species from central Brazil, L. relictus sp.n., w...
6 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 13, 2016in Biodiversity Data Journal
Flavia A. Esteves1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Brian L. Fisher1
Estimated H-index: 1
In this study we present the first taxonomic revision of the ant genus Stigmatomma in the Malagasy biogeographic region, re­describe the previously known S. besucheti Baroni-Urbani, and describe seven new species to science (S. bolabola sp. n., S. irayhady sp. n., S. janovitsika sp. n., S. liebe sp. n., S. roahady sp. n., S. sakalava sp. n., and S. tsyhady sp. n.). The revision is based on the worker caste, but we provide brief descriptions of gynes and males for some species. Species descriptio...
1 Citations Source Cite