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      Ectaheteromorph ants also host highly diverse parasitic communities: a review of parasitoids of the Neotropical genus Ectatomma

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      Insectes Sociaux

      Springer Nature

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          Most cited references 63

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          Evaluating alternative hypotheses for the early evolution and diversification of ants.

          Ants are the world's most diverse and ecologically dominant eusocial organisms. Resolving the phylogeny and timescale for major ant lineages is vital to understanding how they achieved this success. Morphological, molecular, and paleontological studies, however, have presented conflicting views on early ant evolution. To address these issues, we generated the largest ant molecular phylogenetic data set published to date, containing approximately 6 kb of DNA sequence from 162 species representing all 20 ant subfamilies and 10 aculeate outgroup families. When these data were analyzed with and without outgroups, which are all distantly related to ants and hence long-branched, we obtained conflicting ingroup topologies for some early ant lineages. This result casts strong doubt on the existence of a poneroid clade as currently defined. We compare alternate attachments of the outgroups to the ingroup tree by using likelihood tests, and find that several alternative rootings cannot be rejected by the data. These alternatives imply fundamentally different scenarios for the early evolution of ant morphology and behavior. Our data strongly support several notable relationships within the more derived formicoid ants, including placement of the enigmatic subfamily Aenictogitoninae as sister to Dorylus army ants. We use the molecular data to estimate divergence times, employing a strategy distinct from previous work by incorporating the extensive fossil record of other aculeate Hymenoptera as well as that of ants. Our age estimates for the most recent common ancestor of extant ants range from approximately 115 to 135 million years ago, indicating that a Jurassic origin is highly unlikely.
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            The Magnitude of Global Insect Species Richness

             Kevin Gaston (1991)
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              Quantifying uncertainty in estimation of tropical arthropod species richness.

              There is a bewildering range of estimates for the number of arthropods on Earth. Several measures are based on extrapolation from species specialized to tropical rain forest, each using specific assumptions and justifications. These approaches have not provided any sound measure of uncertainty associated with richness estimates. We present two models that account for parameter uncertainty by replacing point estimates with probability distributions. The models predict medians of 3.7 million and 2.5 million tropical arthropod species globally, with 90% confidence intervals of [2.0, 7.4] million and [1.1, 5.4] million, respectively. Estimates of 30 million or greater are predicted to have <0.00001 probability. Sensitivity analyses identified uncertainty in the proportion of canopy arthropod species that are beetles as the most influential parameter, although uncertainties associated with three other parameters were also important. Using the median estimates suggests that in spite of 250 years of taxonomy and around 855,000 species of arthropods already described, approximately 70% await description.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Insectes Sociaux
                Insect. Soc.
                Springer Nature
                0020-1812
                1420-9098
                May 2015
                February 15 2015
                : 62
                : 2
                : 121-132
                Article
                10.1007/s00040-015-0390-x
                © 2015
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