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      Aenictus yangi sp. n. – a new species of the A. ceylonicus species group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Dorylinae) from Yunnan, China

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      Journal of Hymenoptera Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          In this study we present a taxonomic update for the Aenictus ceylonicus group. A recent survey of the leaf litter ant fauna of Xingshuangbanna (Yunnan, China) yielded material of a hitherto unknown member of the group, which we describe here as Aenictus yangi sp. n. The new species is clearly distinguishable from the other species of the A. ceylonicus group based on differences in mandibular dentition, the development of the metanotal groove, the shape of the propodeum and subpetiolar process, as well as surface sculpture on the mesosoma and waist segments. In order to integrate A. yangi sp. n. into the taxonomic system created by Jaitrong and Yamane (2013) we provide an update to the identification key provided in the latter revision, as well as a diagnostic discussion and high-quality illustrations of important species and morphological characters.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Evolution of the army ant syndrome: the origin and long-term evolutionary stasis of a complex of behavioral and reproductive adaptations.

           S. Brady (2003)
          The army ant syndrome of behavioral and reproductive traits (obligate collective foraging, nomadism, and highly specialized queens) has allowed these organisms to become the premiere social hunters of the tropics, yet we know little about how or why these strategies evolved. The currently accepted view holds that army ants evolved multiple times on separate continents. I generated data from three nuclear genes, a mitochondrial gene, and morphology to test this hypothesis. Results strongly indicate that the suite of behavioral and reproductive adaptations found in army ants throughout the world is inherited from a unique common ancestor, and did not evolve convergently in the New World and Old World as previously thought. New Bayesian methodology for dating the antiquity of lineages by using a combination of fossil and molecular information places the origin of army ants in the mid-Cretaceous, consistent with a Gondwanan origin. Because no known army ant species lacks any component of the army ant syndrome, this group represents an extraordinary case of long-term evolutionary stasis in these adaptations.
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            The rise of army ants and their relatives: diversification of specialized predatory doryline ants

            Background Army ants are dominant invertebrate predators in tropical and subtropical terrestrial ecosystems. Their close relatives within the dorylomorph group of ants are also highly specialized predators, although much less is known about their biology. We analyzed molecular data generated from 11 nuclear genes to infer a phylogeny for the major dorylomorph lineages, and incorporated fossil evidence to infer divergence times under a relaxed molecular clock. Results Because our results indicate that one subfamily and several genera of dorylomorphs are non-monophyletic, we propose to subsume the six previous dorylomorph subfamilies into a single subfamily, Dorylinae. We find the monophyly of Dorylinae to be strongly supported and estimate the crown age of the group at 87 (74–101) million years. Our phylogenetic analyses provide only weak support for army ant monophyly and also call into question a previous hypothesis that army ants underwent a fundamental split into New World and Old World lineages. Outside the army ants, our phylogeny reveals for the first time many old, distinct lineages in the Dorylinae. The genus Cerapachys is shown to be non-monophyletic and comprised of multiple lineages scattered across the Dorylinae tree. We recover, with strong support, novel relationships among these Cerapachys-like clades and other doryline genera, but divergences in the deepest parts of the tree are not well resolved. We find the genus Sphinctomyrmex, characterized by distinctive abdominal constrictions, to consist of two separate lineages with convergent morphologies, one inhabiting the Old World and the other the New World tropics. Conclusions While we obtain good resolution in many parts of the Dorylinae phylogeny, relationships deep in the tree remain unresolved, with major lineages joining each other in various ways depending upon the analytical method employed, but always with short internodes. This may be indicative of rapid radiation in the early history of the Dorylinae, but additional molecular data and more complete species sampling are needed for confirmation. Our phylogeny now provides a basic framework for comparative biological analyses, but much additional study on the behavior and morphology of doryline species is needed, especially investigations directed at the non-army ant taxa.
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              The internal phylogeny of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Hymenoptera Research
                JHR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2607
                1070-9428
                March 18 2015
                March 18 2015
                : 42
                :
                : 33-45
                Article
                10.3897/JHR.42.8859
                © 2015
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