- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Eaton, Deren
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Systematic Biology
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Lozier, Jeffrey (Ed.)Abstract Coloration is an important phenotypic trait for taxonomic studies and has been widely used for identifying insect species and populations. However, coloration can be a poor diagnostic character for insect species that exhibit high polymorphism in this trait, which can lead to over-splitting of taxonomic units. In orchid bees, color variation has been interpreted by different taxonomists as either polymorphism associated with Müllerian mimicry complexes or diagnostic traits for species identification. Despite this uncertainty, integrative approaches that incorporate multiple independent datasets to test the validity of hair coloration as a character that identifies independent evolutionary units have not been used. Here, we use phylogenomic data from Ultraconserved Elements (UCEs) to explore whether color phenotypes in the widespread orchid bee species complexes Eulaema meriana and Eulaema bombiformis (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini) correspond to independent lineages or polymorphic trait variation within species. We find that lineages within both species are structured according to geography and that color morphs are generally unassociated with evolutionarily independent groups except for populations located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. We conclude that there is compelling evidence that E. atleticana and E. niveofasciata are subspecies of E. meriana and E. bombiformis, respectively, and not different species as previously suggested. Therefore, we recognize Eulaema meriana atleticanacomb. n. and Eulaema bombiformis niveofasciatacomb. n. and discuss their morphological characteristics. We make recommendations on the use of color traits for orchid bee taxonomy and discuss the significance of subspecies as evolutionary units relevant for conservation efforts.more » « less
Traits that have arisen multiple times yet still remain rare present a curious paradox. A number of these rare traits show a distinct tippy pattern, where they appear widely dispersed across a phylogeny, are associated with short branches and differ between recently diverged sister species. This phylogenetic pattern has classically been attributed to the trait being an evolutionary dead end, where the trait arises due to some short‐term evolutionary advantage, but it ultimately leads species to extinction. While the higher extinction rate associated with a dead end trait could produce such a tippy pattern, a similar pattern could appear if lineages with the trait speciated slower than other lineages, or if the trait was lost more often that it was gained. In this study, we quantify the degree of tippiness of red flowers in the tomato family, Solanaceae, and investigate the macroevolutionary processes that could explain the sparse phylogenetic distribution of this trait. Using a suite of metrics, we confirm that red‐flowered lineages are significantly overdispersed across the tree and form smaller clades than expected under a null model. Next, we fit 22 alternative models using Hi
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Theory predicts that sexually dimorphic traits under strong sexual selection, particularly those involved with intersexual signaling, can accelerate speciation and produce bursts of diversification. Sexual dichromatism (sexual dimorphism in color) is widely used as a proxy for sexual selection and is associated with rapid diversification in several animal groups, yet studies using phylogenetic comparative methods to explicitly test for an association between sexual dichromatism and diversification have produced conflicting results. Sexual dichromatism is rare in frogs, but it is both striking and prevalent in African reed frogs, a major component of the diverse frog radiation termed Afrobatrachia. In contrast to most other vertebrates, reed frogs display female-biased dichromatism in which females undergo color transformation, often resulting in more ornate coloration in females than in males. We produce a robust phylogeny of Afrobatrachia to investigate the evolutionary origins of sexual dichromatism in this radiation and examine whether the presence of dichromatism is associated with increased rates of net diversification. We find that sexual dichromatism evolved once within hyperoliids and was followed by numerous independent reversals to monochromatism. We detect significant diversification rate heterogeneity in Afrobatrachia and find that sexually dichromatic lineages have double the average net diversification rate of monochromatic lineages. By conducting trait simulations on our empirical phylogeny, we demonstrate that our inference of trait-dependent diversification is robust. Although sexual dichromatism in hyperoliid frogs is linked to their rapid diversification and supports macroevolutionary predictions of speciation by sexual selection, the function of dichromatism in reed frogs remains unclear. We propose that reed frogs are a compelling system for studying the roles of natural and sexual selection on the evolution of sexual dichromatism across micro- and macroevolutionary timescales.
Rapid speciation events, with taxa generated over a short time period, are among the most investigated biological phenomena. However, molecular systematics often reveals contradictory results compared with morphological/phenotypical diagnoses of species under scenarios of recent and rapid diversification. In this study, we used molecular data from an average of over 29 000 loci per sample from RADseq to reconstruct the diversification history and delimit the species boundary in a short‐winged grasshopper species complex (
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