phylogeny

Myrmecos

Tag archives for phylogeny

Leptomyrmex darlingtoni, Australia A big day for ant evolution! The Ant Tree of Life research group (AToL) has published their dolichoderine phylogeny in the journal Systematic Biology. Dolichoderines are one of the big ant subfamilies, comprising just under ten percent of the world’s ant species. These are dominant, conspicuous ants noted for having ditched the…

A clarification, relevant the discussion below: Tree from Brady et al 2006.

TimeTree of Life

I see that the TimeTree of Life project is now public.  This collaborative project draws on the research of dozens of biologists to estimate the timing of past evolutionary divergences.  The work is available as a book, but the online version has an interactive section that allows the user to name two organisms and get…

I saw this short video at a conference last year and was entranced. The clip shows how the ancestral arachnid body plan changed as it evolved through various descendant lineages. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fObmcBGMm9I]

I’ve been thinking today about the Wikipedia edits to the Pyramica page, and my curiosity about the controversy prodded me to attempt a quick phylogenetic analysis.  Before I get to the analysis, though, here is some background.

Specimen Request: Simopelta Army Ants

I’ve just started a project in collaboration with Daniel Kronauer, Jack Longino, and Andy Suarez to infer the phylogeny of species in the Neotropical ponerine genus Simopelta.  If you happen to have any DNA-quality specimens of these unusual ants in your keep, we’d greatly appreciate a donation. Why Simopelta?  These insects are among the “other”…

David Attenborough’s Tree of Life

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6IrUUDboZo] Explaining the evolutionary tree of life is always a tricky proposition, as narratives are inherently linear but evolution spirals outwards in countless messy directions at once.  To tell a story from the tangled bank requires picking a single thread and following it, yet it is precisely our tendency to follow single threads that causes…

Phylogeny of Linepithema

Three years after finishing my Ph.D., I have finally published the last bit of work from my dissertation.  It’s a multi-locus molecular phylogeny of the ant genus Linepithema, a group of mostly obscure Neotropical ants that would be overlooked if they didn’t happen to contain the infamous Argentine Ant.  In less jargony language, what I’ve…

Eureka! Heureka! An Astonishing New Ant!

Martialis heureka Rabeling & Verhaagh 2008 drawing by the inimitable Barrett Klein for PNAS Most scientific discoveries these days emerge through carefully planned and controlled research programs.  Every now and again, though, something unexpected just pops up in a distant tropical jungle.  Martialis heureka is a fantastic discovery of that old-fashioned kind.  This little ant…

Our first paper from the Beetle Tree of Life study has been published. Here’s the citation: Wild, A. L. & Maddison, D. R. 2008. Evaluating nuclear protein-coding genes for phylogenetic utility in beetles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.05.023 My co-author David Maddison once summarized the point of the paper as “Hey guys! New genes!”