skip to main content

Title: UCE Phylogenomics of New World Cryptopone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Elucidates Genus Boundaries, Species Boundaries, and the Vicariant History of a Temperate–Tropical Disjunction
Abstract The genus Cryptopone Emery contains 25 species of litter and soil ants, 5 of which occur in the Americas. Cryptopone gilva (Roger) occurs in the southeastern United States and cloud forests of Mesoamerica, exhibiting an uncommon biogeographic disjunction observed most often in plants. We used phylogenomic data from ultraconserved elements (UCEs), as well as mitogenomes and legacy markers, to investigate phylogenetic relationships, species boundaries, and divergence dates among New World Cryptopone. Species delimitation was conducted using a standard approach and then tested using model-based molecular methods (SNAPP, BPP, SODA, and bPTP). We found that Cryptopone as currently constituted is polyphyletic, and that all the South American species belong to Wadeura Weber, a separate genus unrelated to Cryptopone. A single clade of true Cryptopone occurs in the Americas, restricted to North and Central America. This clade is composed of four species that originated ~4.2 million years ago. One species from the mountains of Guatemala is sister to the other three, favoring a vicariance hypothesis of diversification. The taxonomy of the New World Cryptopone and Wadeura is revised. Taxonomic changes are as follows: Wadeura Weber is resurrected, with new combinations W. guianensis Weber, W. holmgreni (Wheeler), and W. pauli (Fernandes & more » Delabie); C. guatemalensis (Forel) (rev. stat.) is raised to species and includes C. obsoleta (Menozzi) (syn. nov.). The following new species are described: Cryptopone gilvagrande, C. gilvatumida, and Wadeura holmgrenita. Cryptopone hartwigi Arnold is transferred to Fisheropone Schmidt and Shattuck (n. comb.). Cryptopone mirabilis (Mackay & Mackay 2010) is a junior synonym of Centromyrmex brachycola (Roger) (syn. nov.). « less
Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Insect Systematics and Diversity
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    We investigate the species-level taxonomy and evolutionary history of Nearctic ants in the Crematogaster scutellaris group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), drawing on evidence from morphology and UCE (ultraconserved element) phylogenomics. The New World species in this group form a well-supported clade that originated in the Late Miocene (~7.3 Mya) and subsequently diverged into three major lineages: the C. coarctata clade (south-western Nearctic), the C. opaca clade (south-western Nearctic and northern Neotropics) and the C. lineolata clade (eastern Nearctic and Caribbean, with four isolated south-west endemics). We hypothesize trans-Beringian dispersal into the New World, west-to-east movement within North America and restriction of mesophilic species to the east with increasing aridification of the west. The ancestral nesting behaviour of these ants is inferred to be ground-dwelling, and this is still the predominant condition in the arid west, whereas most species in the eastern United States are arboreal. We resurrect from synonymy nine species and describe three new species: C. detecta sp. nov. (from Nevada), C. parapilosa sp. nov. (Florida) and C. vetusta sp. nov. (Arizona). We provide a worker-based key to the 34 species of Crematogaster occurring in America north of Mexico, but emphasize that there are still ongoing taxonomic issues that needmore »to be resolved.

    « less
  2. The Camponotus subgenus Myrmosaga subgen. rev. from the Malagasy region is revised based on analysis of both qualitative morphological characters and morphometric traits. The multivariate analysis used the Nest Centroid (NC)-clustering method to generate species hypotheses based on 19 continuous morphological traits of minor workers. The proposed species hypotheses were confirmed by cumulative Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA). Morphometric ratios for the subsets of minor and major workers were used in species descriptions and redefinitions. The present study places the subgenus Myrmopytia syn. nov. in synonymy to Myrmosaga . It recognizes 38 species, of which 19 are newly described: C. aina sp. nov. , C. aro sp. nov. , C. asara sp. nov. , C. atimo sp. nov. , C. bemaheva sp. nov. , C. bozaka sp. nov. , C. daraina sp. nov. , C. harenarum sp. nov. , C. joany sp. nov. , C. karsti sp. nov. , C. kelimaso sp. nov. , C. lokobe sp. nov. , C. mahafaly sp. nov. , C. niavo sp. nov. , C. rotrae sp. nov. , C. sambiranoensis sp. nov. , C. tapia sp. nov. , C. tendryi sp. nov. , C. vano sp. nov. Eleven species are redescribed: C. aurosus Roger, C.more »cervicalis Roger, C. dufouri Forel, C. gibber Forel, C. hagensii Forel, C. hova Forel, C. hovahovoides Forel, C. immaculatus Forel, C. quadrimaculatus Forel, C. roeseli Forel, C. strangulatus Santschi. The following are raised to species and redescribed: C. becki Santschi stat. nov. , C. boivini Forel stat. rev. , C. cemeryi Özdikmen stat. rev. , C. mixtellus Forel stat. nov. , C. radamae Forel stat. nov. Camponotus maculatus st. fairmairei Santschi syn. nov. , is synonymized under C. boivini . The following are synonymized under C. cervicalis : Camponotus cervicalis gaullei Santschi, syn. nov. ; Camponotus perroti Forel, syn. nov. ; Camponotus perroti aeschylus Forel, syn. nov. ; Camponotus gerberti Donisthorpe, syn. nov. Camponotus dufouri imerinensis Forel, syn. nov. is a synonym of C. dufouri , Camponotus hova var. obscuratus Emery, syn. nov. is a synonym of C. hova , Camponotus quadrimaculatus opacata Emery, syn. nov. is a synonym of C. immaculatus , Camponotus maculatus st. legionarium Santschi, syn. nov. is a synonym of C. roeseli , Camponotus hova maculatoides Emery, syn. nov. is a synonym of C. strangulatus . The following are synonymized under C. quadrimaculatus : Camponotus kelleri Forel, syn. nov. , Camponotus kelleri var. invalidus Forel, syn. nov. , Camponotus quadrimaculatus sellaris Emery, syn. nov. As C. imitator Forel, C. liandia Rakotonirina & Fisher, and C. lubbocki Forel have been recently described and redescribed, only diagnoses and taxonomic discussions are provided. This revision also includes an illustrated species identification key, taxonomic discussions, images, and distribution maps for each species superimposed on the ecoregions of Madagascar.« less
  3. Hines, Heather (Ed.)
    Abstract The ant genus Syscia  Roger, 1861 is part of the cryptic ant fauna inhabiting leaf litter and rotten wood in the Asian and American tropics. It is a distinct clade within the Dorylinae, the subfamily from which army ants arose. Prior to this work, the genus comprised seven species, each known from a single or very few collections. Extensive collecting in Middle America revealed an unexpected and challenging diversity of morphological forms. Locally distinct forms could be identified at many sites, but assignment of specimens to species spanning multiple sites was problematic. To improve species delimitation, Ultra-Conserved Element (UCE) phylogenomic data were sequenced for all forms, both within and among sites, and a phylogeny was inferred. Informed by phylogeny, species delimitation was based on monophyly, absence of within-clade sympatry, and a subjective degree of morphological uniformity. UCE phylogenomic results for 130 specimens were complemented by analysis of mitochondrial COI (DNA barcode) data for an expanded taxon set. The resulting taxonomy augments the number of known species in the New World from 3 to 57. We describe and name 31 new species, and 23 species are assigned morphospecies codes pending improved specimen coverage. Queens may be fully alate or brachypterous,more »and there is a wide variety of intercaste female forms. Identification based on morphology alone is very difficult due to continuous character variation and high similarity of phylogenetically distant species. An identification aid is provided in the form of a set of distribution maps and standard views, with species ordered by size.« less
  4. Background The Malagasy Region, one of the top megadiversity regions, hosts one of the highest numbers of endemic and threatened organisms on earth. One of the most spectacular examples of ant radiation on the island has occurred in the hyperdiverse genus Pheidole . To this date, there are 135 described Madagascan Pheidole divided into 16 species-groups, and 97% of Malagasy species are endemic to the island. This study is a taxonomic revision of the Pheidole megacephala group, one of only two species-groups comprising a combination of native, endemic taxa and widely distributed introduced species. Methods The diversity of the Malagasy members of the megacephala group was assessed via application of qualitative morphological and DNA sequence data. Qualitative, external morphological characteristics ( e.g., head shape, gaster sculpture, body colouration) were evaluated in order to create a priori grouping hypotheses, and confirm and improve species delimitation. Mitochondrial DNA sequences from cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene fragments were analyzed to test the putative species previously delimited by morphological analyses. Results We recognize three species belonging to the megacephala group: P. megacephala (Fabricius, 1793), P. megatron Fischer & Fisher, 2013 and P. spinosa Forel, 1891 stat. nov. Pheidole spinosa is redescribed and elevated tomore »the species level. The following names are recognized as junior synonyms of P. spinosa : P. megacephala scabrior Forel, 1891 syn. nov. , P. picata Forel, 1891 syn. nov. , P. picata gietleni Forel, 1905 syn. nov. , P. picata bernhardae Emery, 1915 syn. nov. , and P. decepticon Fischer & Fisher, 2013 syn. nov. The results are supplemented with an identification key to species for major workers of the megacephala group, high-resolution images for major and minor workers, and comments on the distribution and biology of all Malagasy members of the group. Our study revealed that Pheidole megacephala , a species listed among the 100 worst invasive species worldwide, occurs in both natural and disturbed sites in the Malagasy region. The two remaining members of the megacephala group, most likely endemic to this region, are also present in anthropogenic habitats and often co-occur with P. megacephala . It appears that the Malagasy members of the group are generalists and dominant in anthropogenic habitats. Additionally, we documented the presence of supermajors in colonies of P. spinosa —a phenomenon previously not known for this group.« less
  5. This study describes the worker and queen castes of the Neotropical ponerine Corrieopone nouragues gen. nov. , sp. nov. , an ant from the tropical rainforest in French Guiana. Worker morphology of the taxon is compared with those of other Ponerinae and the similarities between them are discussed, refining the definition of character states for some diagnostic characters at the generic level, providing an identification key to the Neotropical genera, and making some adjustments to the taxonomic framework within the subfamily. Descriptions, diagnosis, character discussion, identification key, and glossary are illustrated with more than 300 images and line drawings. Open science is supported by providing access to measurement data for specimens of the new genus, a matrix of character states for all ponerine taxa evaluated in this study, and specimen data for all examined material. The new or revived combinations presented here are Pachycondyla procidua Emery, comb. rev. , Neoponera curiosa (Mackay and Mackay), comb. nov. , Leptogenys butteli (Forel), comb. nov. , and Bothroponera escherichi (Forel), comb. nov. In addition, Leptogenys butteli is synonymized with Leptogenys myops (Emery), syn. nov.