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Phylogeny, molecular dating and biogeography of Heteroponerinae ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

Grant number: 11/24160-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2012
Effective date (End): January 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Carlos Roberto Ferreira Brandão
Grantee:Rodrigo dos Santos Machado Feitosa
Host Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Ants are conspicuous organisms of major ecological importance in most terrestrial ecosystems, often attaining high levels of abundance and diversity. However, its richness, biogeographic patterns, and the phylogenetic relationships among the main lineages represent an important source of uncertainty in literature. Until recently it was also the case of heteroponerine ants. Heteroponerinae comprises three ant genera and presents a disjunct distribution in the Americas, Australia and southwestern Asia. A recent morphological study released secure bases for the recognition and delimitation of most species in the subfamily and represented the first step in trying to understand the internal phylogenetic relationships of Heteroponerinae. However, methodological limitations and the difficulty in recognizing phylogenetically informative morphological characters contributed to the perpetuation of a number of uncertainties regarding the phylogeny and biogeography of the group. The relative lack of resolution in the internal relations of some heteroponerine clades prevents the recognition of some lineages as evolutionarily independent. The presence of lineages in three biogeographic regions and, in particular, the close phylogenetic relations found between Neotropical and Australian groups reveal an interesting biogeographic scenario to be investigated. In this context, this study aims to present a hypothesis about the evolutionary and biogeographic processes involved in the diversification and current distribution of the Heteroponerinae members through a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis employing molecular data. (AU)

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Scientific publications (7)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
POWELL, SCOTT; DEL-CLARO, KLEBER; FEITOSA, RODRIGO M.; BRANDA, CARLOS ROBERTO F.. Mimicry and Eavesdropping Enable a New Form of Social Parasitism in Ants. American Naturalist, v. 184, n. 4, p. 500-509, . (11/24160-1)
SILVA, R. R.; FEITOSA, R. M.; BRANDAO, C. R. F.; FREITAS, A. V. L.. The first Leptanilloides species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Leptanilloidinae) from eastern South America. Journal of Natural History, v. 47, n. 31-32, p. 9-pg., . (10/20570-8, 11/24160-1, 11/50225-3, 98/05083-0)
NAKANO, M. A.; MIRANDA, V. F. O.; FEITOSA, R. M.; MORINI, M. S. C.. The genetic Characterization of Myrmelachista Roger Assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae) in the Atlantic Forest of Southeastern Brazil. Sociobiology, v. 61, n. 1, p. 21-27, . (11/24160-1)
SOSA-CALVO, JEFFREY; SCHULTZ, TED R.; BRANDAO, CARLOS R. F.; KLINGENBERG, CHRISTIANA; FEITOSA, RODRIGO M.; RABELING, CHRISTIAN; BACCI, JR., MAURICIO; LOPES, CAUE T.; VASCONCELOS, HERALDO L.. Cyatta abscondita: Taxonomy, Evolution, and Natural History of a New Fungus-Farming Ant Genus from Brazil. PLoS One, v. 8, n. 11, . (06/00185-7, 11/24160-1)
GALLEGO-ROPERO, M. C.; FEITOSA, R. M.. Evidences of Batesian Mimicry and Parabiosis in Ants of the Brazilian Savanna. Sociobiology, v. 61, n. 3, p. 281-285, . (11/24160-1)
PUKER, ANDERSON; ROSA, CASSIANO S.; OROZCO, JESUS; SOLAR, RICARDO R. C.; FEITOSA, RODRIGO M.. Insights on the association of American Cetoniinae beetles with ants. ENTOMOLOGICAL SCIENCE, v. 18, n. 1, p. 21-30, . (11/24160-1)
DATTILO, WESLEY; VICENTE, RICARDO E.; NUNES, RAFAEL V.; FEITOSA, RODRIGO M.. Influence of Cave Size and Presence of Bat Guano on Ant Visitation. Sociobiology, v. 59, n. 2, p. 549-559, . (11/24160-1)

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