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Next-generation morphological character discovery and evaluation: an X-ray micro-CT enhanced revision of the ant genus Zasphinctus Wheeler (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Dorylinae) in the Afrotropics.

Published on Aug 23, 2017in ZooKeys 1.14
· DOI :10.3897/zookeys.693.13012
Francisco Hita Garcia8
Estimated H-index: 8
,
Georg Fischer7
Estimated H-index: 7
+ 2 AuthorsEvan P. Economo17
Estimated H-index: 17
Cite
Abstract
New technologies for imaging and analysis of morphological characters offer opportunities to enhance revisionary taxonomy and better integrate it with the rest of biology. In this study, we revise the Afrotropical fauna of the ant genus Zasphinctus Wheeler, and use high-resolution X-ray microtomography (micro-CT) to analyse a number of morphological characters of taxonomic and biological interest. We recognise and describe three new species: Z. obamai sp. n., Z. sarowiwai sp. n., and Z. wilsoni sp. n. The species delimitations are based on the morphological examination of all physical specimens in combination with 3D scans and volume reconstructions. Based on this approach, we present a new taxonomic discrimination system for the regional fauna that consists of a combination of easily observable morphological characters visible at magnifications of around 80–100 ×, less observable characters that require higher magnifications, as well as characters made visible through virtual dissections that would otherwise require destructive treatment. Zasphinctus are rarely collected ants and the material available to us is comparatively scarce. Consequently, we explore the use of micro-CT as a non-invasive tool for the virtual examination, manipulation, and dissection of such rare material. Furthermore, we delineate the treated species by providing a diagnostic character matrix illustrated by numerous images and supplement that with additional evidence in the form of stacked montage images, 3D PDFs and 3D rotation videos of scans of major body parts and full body (in total we provide 16 stacked montage photographs, 116 images of 3D reconstructions, 15 3D rotation videos, and 13 3D PDFs). In addition to the comparative morphology analyses used for species delimitations, we also apply micro-CT data to examine certain traits, such as mouthparts, cuticle thickness, and thoracic and abdominal muscles in order to assess their taxonomic usefulness or gain insights into the natural history of the genus. The complete datasets comprising the raw micro-CT data, 3D PDFs, 3D rotation videos, still images of 3D models, and coloured montage photos have been made available online as cybertypes (Dryad, http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4s3v1).
  • References (73)
  • Citations (7)
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References73
Newest
Published on Jan 22, 2019in Zootaxa 0.99
Francisco Hita Garcia8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of Bonn),
Georg Fischer7
Estimated H-index: 7
+ 1 AuthorsMagnolia Press4
Estimated H-index: 4
The taxonomy of the Tetramorium weitzeckeri species group is revised for the Afrotropical zoogeographic region. The revision is based on morphology and morphometrics of the worker caste. Twenty six species are recognised of which twelve are described as new: Tetramorium bendai sp. n., Tetramorium boltoni sp. n., Tetramorium intermedium sp. n., Tetramorium kakamega sp. n., Tetramorium mkomazi sp. n., Tetramorium philippwagneri sp. n., Tetramorium renae . n., Tetramorium robertsoni sp. n., Tetramo...
Published on Oct 25, 2017in Biological Journal of The Linnean Society 2.20
Eli M. Sarnat9
Estimated H-index: 9
,
Nicholas R. Friedman9
Estimated H-index: 9
(OIST: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology)
+ 2 AuthorsEvan P. Economo17
Estimated H-index: 17
(OIST: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology)
Published on Jul 1, 2017in Biological Journal of The Linnean Society 2.20
Christian Peeters33
Estimated H-index: 33
(UPMC: Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University),
Mathieu Molet11
Estimated H-index: 11
(UPMC: Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University)
+ 1 AuthorsJohan Billen32
Estimated H-index: 32
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
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...
Published on Dec 1, 2016in GigaScience 4.69
Fernando Carbayo12
Estimated H-index: 12
(USP: University of São Paulo),
Jennifer Winifred Lenihan3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Harvard University)
Background We investigated whether images obtained through X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT) can be used in conjunction with traditional methods for morphological studies of soft-bodied land planarians. μCT is non-invasive and provides true-to-scale three-dimensional imagery at high resolution. We compared μCT-based images of a recently described land planarian species of Obama otavioi (Platyhelminthes) with those obtained from light microphotography of histological sections, most of which w...
Published on Sep 1, 2016in Zoologica Scripta 2.61
Fernando Carbayo12
Estimated H-index: 12
(USP: University of São Paulo),
Tiago Mauricio Francoy14
Estimated H-index: 14
(USP: University of São Paulo),
Gonzalo Giribet60
Estimated H-index: 60
(Harvard University)
The land planarians in the genus Obama include the largest species of the Neotropical Geoplaninae. Morphological discrimination of Obama species can be difficult, as many species are morphologically similar and some present asymmetric – difficult to interpret – copulatory organs. New techniques are thus welcomed to provide faster species description and identification. Here, we study several specimens of Obama by means of mainly 2D and 3D μCT-based images obtained through X-ray microcomputed tom...
Published on Aug 4, 2016in ZooKeys 1.14
Marek L. Borowiec8
Estimated H-index: 8
The generic classification of the ant subfamily Dorylinae is revised, with the aim of facilitating identification of easily-diagnosable monophyletic genera. The new classification is based on recent molecular phylogenetic evidence and a critical reappraisal of doryline morphology. New keys and diagnoses based on workers and males are provided, along with reviews of natural history and phylogenetic relationships, distribution maps, and a list of valid species for each lineage. Twenty-eight genera...
Published on Jul 27, 2016in PLOS ONE 2.78
Georg Fischer7
Estimated H-index: 7
,
Eli M. Sarnat9
Estimated H-index: 9
,
Evan P. Economo17
Estimated H-index: 17
The Fijian islands, a remote archipelago in the southwestern Pacific, are home to a number of spectacular endemic radiations of plants and animals. Unlike most Pacific archipelagos, these evolutionary radiations extend to social insects, including ants. One of the most dramatic examples of ant radiation in Fiji has occurred in the hyperdiverse genus Pheidole. Most of the 17 native Fijian Pheidole belong to one of two species groups that descended from a single colonization, yet have evolved dram...
Published on Jul 27, 2016in PLOS ONE 2.78
Eli M. Sarnat9
Estimated H-index: 9
(OIST: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology),
Georg Fischer7
Estimated H-index: 7
(OIST: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology),
Evan P. Economo17
Estimated H-index: 17
(UM: University of Michigan)
The ant genus Pheidole—for all of its hyperdiversity and global ubiquity—is remarkably conservative with regard to morphological disparity. A striking exception to this constrained morphology is the spinescent morphotype, which has evolved multiple times across distantly related lineages of Indoaustralian Pheidole. The Pheidole cervicornis group contains perhaps the most extraordinary spinescent forms of all Pheidole. Here we present a taxonomic revision of the P. cervicornis group, and use micr...
Cited By7
Newest
Published on Jan 1, 2020
Gina Delia Roque-Torres1
Estimated H-index: 1
(LLU: Loma Linda University)
The application of micro-CT in soft tissue specimens as a noninvasive imaging tool has been studied for accurate visualization of three-dimensional structures; generally useful methods for micro-CT imaging for comparative, functional studies of morphology are still in process. Overall visualization of soft tissue has proven to be possible, along with versatile staining methods, tissue fixation, and sample preparation. This chapter focuses mainly on biological applications analyzed by micro-CT wi...
Published in Scientific Reports 4.01
Francisco Hita Garcia8
Estimated H-index: 8
(OIST: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology),
Mostafa R. Sharaf8
Estimated H-index: 8
(KSU: King Saud University),
Evan P. Economo17
Estimated H-index: 17
(OIST: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology)
Temnothorax elmenshawyi sp. n., a new ant species from the Asir Mountains of the southwestern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is described based on the worker caste. The new species is a member of the T. exilis species group and is distinguished from the other species included in this group by the impressed metanotal groove, the short, acute and broadly-based propodeal spines, the finely punctate posterior half of cephalic surface, and absence of a median clypeal carina. Despite extensive...
M. J. R. Hall20
Estimated H-index: 20
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History),
Daniel Martín-Vega12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Alcalá)
Metamorphosis and, in particular, holometaboly, the development of organisms through a series of discrete stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult) that hardly resemble one another but are finely adapted to...
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Arthropod Structure & Development 1.84
Adrian Richter1
Estimated H-index: 1
(FSU: University of Jena),
Roberto A. Keller7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Lisbon)
+ 3 AuthorsRolf G. Beutel41
Estimated H-index: 41
(FSU: University of Jena)
Abstract Despite the ecological significance of ants and the intensive research attention they have received, thorough treatments of the anatomy and functional morphology are still scarce. In this study we document the head morphology of workers of the myrmicine Wasmannia affinis with optical microscopy, μ-computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy, and 3D reconstruction, providing the first complete anatomical treatment of an ant head with a broad array of modern techniques. We discuss t...
Published on Feb 1, 2019in Journal of Morphology 1.56
Thomas L. Semple (ANU: Australian National University), Rod Peakall31
Estimated H-index: 31
(ANU: Australian National University),
Nikolai J. Tatarnic10
Estimated H-index: 10
(UWA: University of Western Australia)
Published on Aug 22, 2018in Insects
Kaan Kerman1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Angela Roggero7
Estimated H-index: 7
+ 1 AuthorsClaudia Palestrini16
Estimated H-index: 16
Male horn dimorphism is a rather common phenomenon in dung beetles, where some adult individuals have well-developed head horns (i.e., major males), while others exhibit diminished horn length (i.e., minor males). We focused on horn dimorphism and associated head and pronotum shape variations in Copris lunaris. We examined the allometric relationship between horn length (i.e., cephalic and pronotal horns) and maximum pronotum width (as index of body size) by fitting linear and sigmoidal models f...
Published on Sep 20, 2017in PeerJ 2.35
Gaurav Agavekar1
Estimated H-index: 1
(OIST: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology),
Francisco Hita Garcia2
Estimated H-index: 2
(OIST: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology),
Evan P. Economo17
Estimated H-index: 17
(OIST: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology)