The megadiverse australian ant genus melophorus

Using Co1 barcoding to assess species richness

Alan N. Andersen, Benjamin D. Hoffmann, Kathryn Sparks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    2 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Melophorus is an exceptionally diverse ant genus from arid Australia that has received little taxonomic attention, such that just a fraction of its remarkable number of species is described. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre (TERC) in Darwin holds by far the most extensive collection of Melophorus, and as of September 2016 this comprised > 850 sorted morphospecies. However, the reliability of such morphospecies is open to question because species delimitation is extremely challenging due to highly generalized morphology and worker polymorphism. Here we use CO1 barcoding of 401 Melophorus specimens from 188 morphospecies in the TERC collection to determine the reliability of morphologically-based species delimitations as a basis for assessing true diversity within the genus. Our CO1 data confirm the extremely challenging nature of morphologically-based species delimitation within Melophorus, and suggest substantially higher diversity than that indicated by morphospecies. We found many cases where combinations of high (>10%) CO1 divergence, polyphyly, sympatric association, and morphological differentiation indicated that single morphospecies represented multiple lineages. Overall, our analysis indicates that the 188 morphospecies barcoded represent at least 225 independent CO1 lineages. We discuss these results in terms of both their limitations and implications for estimating the total number of species in this exceptionally diverse, arid-adapted ant genus.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number30
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalDiversity
    Volume8
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2016

    Fingerprint

    Nothomyrmecia macrops
    Ants
    barcoding
    ant
    species richness
    species diversity
    Ecosystem
    Research
    Formicidae
    Commonwealth of Nations
    polyphyly
    research institutions
    ecosystems
    polymorphism
    divergence
    morphospecies
    Melophorus

    Cite this

    Andersen, Alan N. ; Hoffmann, Benjamin D. ; Sparks, Kathryn. / The megadiverse australian ant genus melophorus : Using Co1 barcoding to assess species richness. In: Diversity. 2016 ; Vol. 8, No. 4. pp. 1-13.
    @article{81c42f45bf7a4950bba66ac81516d886,
    title = "The megadiverse australian ant genus melophorus: Using Co1 barcoding to assess species richness",
    abstract = "Melophorus is an exceptionally diverse ant genus from arid Australia that has received little taxonomic attention, such that just a fraction of its remarkable number of species is described. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre (TERC) in Darwin holds by far the most extensive collection of Melophorus, and as of September 2016 this comprised > 850 sorted morphospecies. However, the reliability of such morphospecies is open to question because species delimitation is extremely challenging due to highly generalized morphology and worker polymorphism. Here we use CO1 barcoding of 401 Melophorus specimens from 188 morphospecies in the TERC collection to determine the reliability of morphologically-based species delimitations as a basis for assessing true diversity within the genus. Our CO1 data confirm the extremely challenging nature of morphologically-based species delimitation within Melophorus, and suggest substantially higher diversity than that indicated by morphospecies. We found many cases where combinations of high (>10{\%}) CO1 divergence, polyphyly, sympatric association, and morphological differentiation indicated that single morphospecies represented multiple lineages. Overall, our analysis indicates that the 188 morphospecies barcoded represent at least 225 independent CO1 lineages. We discuss these results in terms of both their limitations and implications for estimating the total number of species in this exceptionally diverse, arid-adapted ant genus.",
    keywords = "Ant diversity, Biological species, Morphospecies, Species delimitation, Sympatric association",
    author = "Andersen, {Alan N.} and Hoffmann, {Benjamin D.} and Kathryn Sparks",
    year = "2016",
    month = "12",
    day = "19",
    doi = "10.3390/d8040030",
    language = "English",
    volume = "8",
    pages = "1--13",
    journal = "Diversity",
    issn = "1424-2818",
    publisher = "MDPIAG",
    number = "4",

    }

    The megadiverse australian ant genus melophorus : Using Co1 barcoding to assess species richness. / Andersen, Alan N.; Hoffmann, Benjamin D.; Sparks, Kathryn.

    In: Diversity, Vol. 8, No. 4, 30, 19.12.2016, p. 1-13.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The megadiverse australian ant genus melophorus

    T2 - Using Co1 barcoding to assess species richness

    AU - Andersen, Alan N.

    AU - Hoffmann, Benjamin D.

    AU - Sparks, Kathryn

    PY - 2016/12/19

    Y1 - 2016/12/19

    N2 - Melophorus is an exceptionally diverse ant genus from arid Australia that has received little taxonomic attention, such that just a fraction of its remarkable number of species is described. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre (TERC) in Darwin holds by far the most extensive collection of Melophorus, and as of September 2016 this comprised > 850 sorted morphospecies. However, the reliability of such morphospecies is open to question because species delimitation is extremely challenging due to highly generalized morphology and worker polymorphism. Here we use CO1 barcoding of 401 Melophorus specimens from 188 morphospecies in the TERC collection to determine the reliability of morphologically-based species delimitations as a basis for assessing true diversity within the genus. Our CO1 data confirm the extremely challenging nature of morphologically-based species delimitation within Melophorus, and suggest substantially higher diversity than that indicated by morphospecies. We found many cases where combinations of high (>10%) CO1 divergence, polyphyly, sympatric association, and morphological differentiation indicated that single morphospecies represented multiple lineages. Overall, our analysis indicates that the 188 morphospecies barcoded represent at least 225 independent CO1 lineages. We discuss these results in terms of both their limitations and implications for estimating the total number of species in this exceptionally diverse, arid-adapted ant genus.

    AB - Melophorus is an exceptionally diverse ant genus from arid Australia that has received little taxonomic attention, such that just a fraction of its remarkable number of species is described. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre (TERC) in Darwin holds by far the most extensive collection of Melophorus, and as of September 2016 this comprised > 850 sorted morphospecies. However, the reliability of such morphospecies is open to question because species delimitation is extremely challenging due to highly generalized morphology and worker polymorphism. Here we use CO1 barcoding of 401 Melophorus specimens from 188 morphospecies in the TERC collection to determine the reliability of morphologically-based species delimitations as a basis for assessing true diversity within the genus. Our CO1 data confirm the extremely challenging nature of morphologically-based species delimitation within Melophorus, and suggest substantially higher diversity than that indicated by morphospecies. We found many cases where combinations of high (>10%) CO1 divergence, polyphyly, sympatric association, and morphological differentiation indicated that single morphospecies represented multiple lineages. Overall, our analysis indicates that the 188 morphospecies barcoded represent at least 225 independent CO1 lineages. We discuss these results in terms of both their limitations and implications for estimating the total number of species in this exceptionally diverse, arid-adapted ant genus.

    KW - Ant diversity

    KW - Biological species

    KW - Morphospecies

    KW - Species delimitation

    KW - Sympatric association

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85008221241&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.3390/d8040030

    DO - 10.3390/d8040030

    M3 - Article

    VL - 8

    SP - 1

    EP - 13

    JO - Diversity

    JF - Diversity

    SN - 1424-2818

    IS - 4

    M1 - 30

    ER -