• Far from a distraction: Plastic pollution and the planetary emergency

      Lavers, Jennifer L; Bond, AL; Rolsky, Charles (Elsevier BV, 2022-07-04)
      Pollution of the environment with plastics has garnered significant public attention, but the topic has also been the focus of controversy, including assertions that resources are better spent on other topics, such as global warming. Here, we argue that plastic pollution and climate change are fundamentally linked, from the extraction of fossil fuels to the production of plastics, and eventual disposal. We demonstrate how plastics research and funding currently lag significantly behind that of climate change and conclude by advocating for a more integrated approach to addressing pressing conservation issues in the time of a planetary emergency.
    • Revision of the World Species of Megaphragma Timberlake (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae)

      Polaszek, Andrew; Fusu, Lucian; Viggiani, Gennaro; Hall, Andie; Hanson, Paul; Polilov, Alexey A (MDPI AG, 2022-06-20)
      Megaphragma species are important models for basic organismal research, and many are potential biological control agents. We present the first extensive revision of species of the genus Megaphragma based on morphological and molecular data. Our revision includes all previously described species, 6 of which are synonymized, and 22 of which are described here as new. We also provide the first key to all species of the genus and reconstruct their phylogeny based on 28S and CO1 molecular markers. The following species are synonymized with M. longiciliatum Subba Rao: M. aligarhensis Yousuf and Shafee syn. nov.; M. amalphitanum Viggiani syn. nov.; M. decochaetum Lin syn. nov.; M. magniclava Yousuf and Shafee syn. nov.; M. shimalianum Hayat syn. nov. M. anomalifuniculi Yuan and Lou syn. nov. is synonymized with M. polychaetum Lin. The following species are described as new: M. antecessor Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. breviclavum Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. chienleei Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. cockerilli Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. digitatum Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. fanenitrakely Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. funiculatum Fusu, Polaszek, and Viggiani sp. nov.; M. giraulti Viggiani, Fusu, and Polaszek sp. nov.; M. hansoni Polaszek, Fusu, and Viggiani sp. nov.; M. kinuthiae Polaszek, Fusu, and Viggiani sp. nov.; M. liui Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. momookherjeeae Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. nowickii Polaszek, Fusu, and Viggiani sp. nov.; M. noyesi Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. pintoi Viggiani sp. nov.; M. polilovi Polaszek, Fusu, and Viggiani sp. nov.; M. rivelloi Viggiani sp. nov.; M. tamoi Polaszek, Fusu, and Viggiani sp. nov.; M. tridens Fusu, and Polaszek sp. nov.; M. uniclavum Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. vanlentereni Polaszek and Fusu sp. nov.; M. viggianii Fusu, Polaszek, and Polilov sp. nov.
    • Cryptic population decrease due to invasive species predation in a long‐lived seabird supports need for eradication

      Oppel, Steffen; Clark, Bethany L; Risi, Michelle M; Horswill, Catharine; Converse, Sarah J; Jones, Christopher W; Osborne, Alexis M; Stevens, Kim; Perold, Vonica; Bond, AL; et al. (Wiley, 2022-06-18)
      SUMMARY 1. Invasive species are one of the greatest drivers of biodiversity loss worldwide, but the eradication of invasive species from islands is a highly efficient management strategy. Because eradication operations require large financial investments, uncertainty over the magnitude of impacts of both invasive species and their removal can impede the willingness of decision makers to invest in eradication. Such uncertainty is prevalent for long-lived species that display an inherent lag between life stages affected by invasive species and those used for population status assessments. 2. Albatrosses are among the longest-living bird species and are threatened on land by invasive species and at sea by industrial fisheries. As in many seabird species, usually only a segment of the population (breeding adults) is used for status assessments, making it difficult to assess their population trends and the potential benefit of conservation action, such as the management of predatory invasive species. 3. We used population monitoring and mark-recapture data to estimate the past population trajectory of the Critically Endangered Tristan Albatross (Diomedea dabbenena) by accounting for unobservable birds at sea in an integrated population model. We then projected the future population trajectory for scenarios with or without predation by invasive house mice (Mus musculus) on their main site, Gough Island. 4. The adult breeding population remained stable between 2004 and 2021, but breeding success was low (31%) and our model indicated that the total population (including unobservable immature birds) decreased from a median estimate of 9795 to 7752 birds. Eradicating invasive mice leading to a two-fold increase in breeding success would result in a 1.8–7.6 times higher albatross population by 2050 (median estimate 10 352 individuals) than without this intervention. 5. Low reproductive output for long-lived species may lead to a cryptic population decrease, which can be obscured from readily available counts of breeding pairs by changes in the breeding population. Mouse eradication is necessary to revert the ongoing population decrease, even if this decrease is not yet apparent in the breeding population size.
    • Crystal structure and investigation of Bi2TeO6·nH2O (0 ≤ n ≤ 2/3): natural and synthetic montanite

      Missen, Owen P; Mills, Stuart J; Rumsey, Michael S; Weil, Matthias; Artner, Werner; Spratt, J; Najorka, J (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-06-09)
      The crystal structure of montanite has been determined using single-crystal X-ray diffraction on a synthetic sample, supported by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), electron microprobe analysis (EPMA) and thermogravimetric analyses (TGA). Montanite was first described in 1868 as Bi2TeO6·nH2O (0 ≤ n ≤ 2/3). The determination of the crystal structure of synthetic montanite (refined composition Bi2TeO6·0.22H2O has led to the reassignment of the formula to Bi2TeO6·0.22H2O where 0 ≤ n ≤ 2∕3 rather than the commonly reported Bi2TeO6·2H2O. This change has been accepted by the IMA–CNMNC, Proposal 22-A. The PXRD pattern simulated from the crystal structure of synthetic montanite is a satisfactory match for PXRD scans collected on both historical and recent natural samples, showing their equivalence. Two specimens attributed to the original discoverer of montanite (Frederick A. Genth) from the cotype localities (Highland Mining District, Montana and David Beck’s mine, North Carolina, USA) have been designated as neotypes. Montanite crystallises in space group P6, with the unit-cell parameters a = 9.1195(14) Å, c = 5.5694(8) Å, V = 401.13(14) Å3, and three formula units in the unit cell. The crystal structure of montanite is formed from a framework of BiOn and TeO6 polyhedra. Half of the Bi3+ and all of the Te+ cations are coordinated by six oxygen atoms in trigonal-prismatic arrangements (the first example of this configuration reported for Te6+, while the remaining Bi3+ cations are coordinated by seven O sites. The H2O groups in montanite are structurally incorporated into the network of cavities formed by the three-dimensional framework, with other cavity space occupied by the stereoactive 6s2 lone pair of Bi3+ cations. While evidence for a supercell was observed in synthetic montanite, the subcell refinement of montanite adequately indexes all reflections in the PXRD patterns observed in all natural montanite samples analysed in this study, verifying the identity of montanite as a mineral.
    • The influence of seabirds on their breeding, roosting and nesting grounds: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

      Grant, Megan L; Bond, AL; Lavers, Jennifer L (Wiley, 2022-06)
      Seabird species world-wide are integral to both marine and terrestrial environments, connecting the two systems by transporting vast quantities of marine-derived nutrients and pollutants to terrestrial breeding, roosting and nesting grounds via the deposition of guano and other allochthonous inputs (e.g. eggs, feathers). We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis and provide insight into what types of nutrients and pollutants seabirds are transporting, the influence these subsidies are having on recipient environments, with a particular focus on soil, and what may happen if seabird populations decline. The addition of guano to colony soils increased nutrient levels compared to control soils for all seabirds studied, with cascading positive effects observed across a range of habitats. Deposited guano sometimes led to negative impacts, such as guanotrophication, or guano-induced eutrophication, which was often observed where there was an excess of guano or in areas with high seabird densities. While the literature describing nutrients transported by seabirds is extensive, literature regarding pollutant transfer is comparatively limited, with a focus on toxic and bioaccumulative metals. Research on persistent organic pollutants and plastics transported by seabirds is likely to increase in coming years. Studies were limited geographically, with hotspots of research activity in a few locations, but data were lacking from large regions around the world. Studies were also limited to seabird species listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. As seabird populations are impacted by multiple threats and steep declines have been observed for many species world-wide, gaps in the literature are particularly concerning. The loss of seabirds will impact nutrient cycling at localized levels and potentially on a global scale as well, yet it is unknown what may truly happen to areas that rely on seabirds if these populations disappear.
    • The life and times of Pteridinium simplex

      Darroch, Simon AF; Gibson, Brandt M; Syversen, Maggie; Rahman, Imran; Racicot, Rachel A; Dunn, Frances S; Gutarra Diaz, Susana V.; Schindler, Eberhard; Wehrmann, Achim; Laflamme, Marc (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2022-05-17)
      Pteridinium simplex is an iconic erniettomorph taxon best known from late Ediacaran successions in South Australia, Russia, and Namibia. Despite nearly 100 years of study, there remain fundamental questions surrounding the paleobiology and paleoecology of this organism, including its life position relative to the sediment–water interface, and how it fed and functioned within benthic communities. Here, we combine a redescription of specimens housed at the Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Frankfurt with field observations of fossiliferous surfaces, to constrain the life habit of Pteridinium and gain insights into the character of benthic ecosystems shortly before the beginning of the Cambrian. We present paleontological and sedimentological evidence suggesting that Pteridinium was semi-infaunal and lived gregariously in aggregated communities, preferentially adopting an orientation with the long axis perpendicular to the prevailing current direction. Using computational fluid dynamics simulations, we demonstrate that this life habit could plausibly have led to suspended food particles settling within the organism's central cavity. This supports interpretation of Pteridinium as a macroscopic suspension feeder that functioned similarly to the coeval erniettomorph Ernietta, emblematic of a broader paleoecological shift toward benthic suspension-feeding strategies over the course of the latest Ediacaran. Finally, we discuss how this new reconstruction of Pteridinium provides information concerning its potential relationships with extant animal groups and state a case for reconstructing Pteridinium as a colonial metazoan.
    • Heterochrony and parallel evolution of echinoderm, hemichordate and cephalochordate internal bars

      Álvarez-Armada, Nidia; Cameron, Christopher B; Bauer, Jennifer E; Rahman, Imran (The Royal Society, 2022-05-11)
      Deuterostomes comprise three phyla with radically different body plans. Phylogenetic bracketing of the living deuterostome clades suggests the latest common ancestor of echinoderms, hemichordates and chordates was a bilaterally symmetrical worm with pharyngeal openings, with these characters lost in echinoderms. Early fossil echinoderms with pharyngeal openings have been described, but their interpretation is highly controversial. Here, we critically evaluate the evidence for pharyngeal structures (gill bars) in the extinct stylophoran echinoderms Lagynocystis pyramidalis and Jaekelocarpus oklahomensis using virtual models based on high-resolution X-ray tomography scans of three-dimensionally preserved fossil specimens. Multivariate analyses of the size, spacing and arrangement of the internal bars in these fossils indicate they are substantially more similar to gill bars in modern enteropneust hemichordates and cephalochordates than to other internal bar-like structures in fossil blastozoan echinoderms. The close similarity between the internal bars of the stylophorans L. pyramidalis and J. oklahomensis and the gill bars of extant chordates and hemichordates is strong evidence for their homology. Differences between these internal bars and bar-like elements of the respiratory systems in blastozoans suggest these structures might have arisen through parallel evolution across deuterostomes, perhaps underpinned by a common developmental genetic mechanism.
    • Ecology drives patterns of spectral transmission in the ocular lenses of frogs and salamanders

      Thomas, Kate; Gower, DJ; Streicher, Jeffrey W; Bell, Rayna C; Fujita, Matthew K; Schott, Ryan K; Liedtke, H Christoph; Haddad, Célio FB; Becker, C Guilherme; Cox, Christian L; et al. (Wiley, 2022-04-05)
      1. The spectral characteristics of vertebrate ocular lenses affect the image of the world that is projected onto the retina, and thus help shape diverse visual capabilities. Here, we tested whether amphibian lens transmission is driven by adaptation to diurnal activity (bright light) and/or scansorial habits (complex visual environments). 2. Spectral transmission through the lenses of 79 species of frogs and six species of salamanders was measured, and data for 29 additional frog species compiled from published literature. Phylogenetic comparative methods were used to test ecological explanations of variation in lens transmission and to test for selection across traits. 3.Lenses of diurnal (day-active) and scansorial (climbing) frogs transmitted significantly less shortwave light than those of non-diurnal or non-scansorial amphibians, and evolutionary modelling suggested that these differences have resulted from differential selection. 4. The presence of shortwave-transparent lenses was common among the sampled amphibians, which implies that many are sensitive to shortwave light to some degree even in the absence of visual pigments maximally sensitive in the UV. This suggests that shortwave light, including UV, could play an important role in amphibian behaviour and ecology. 5 5. Shortwave-absorbing lens pigments likely provide higher visual acuity to diurnally active frogs of multiple ecologies and to nocturnally active scansorial frogs. This new mechanistic understanding of amphibian visual systems suggests that shortwave-filtering lenses are adaptive not only in daylight conditions but also in those scotopic conditions where high acuity is advantageous.
    • Miniaturization in Direct-Developing Frogs from Mexico with the Description of Six New Species

      Jameson, Tom JM; Streicher, Jeffrey W; Manuelli, Luigi; Head, Jason J; Smith, Eric N (Herpetologists League, 2022-04-04)
      The Craugastor mexicanus series (Anura: Craugastoridae) includes six species of direct-developing frogs that occur in Mexico and Guatemala. Notably, two of these species have small adult body sizes (<18 mm snout to vent length) and several have intraspecific polymorphism in color pattern. Using a geographic sampling focused on eastern Mexico (the location of most type localities), we conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of two mitochondrial (12S, 16S) and two nuclear (RAG1, TYR) gene fragments. This analysis revealed two widespread species, C. mexicanus and C. pygmaeus, along with evidence of multiple undescribed taxa from the states of Oaxaca, Mexico, Guerrero, and Jalisco. Interestingly, the widespread species have stratified geographic distributions with the larger bodied clade restricted to high elevations and the smaller bodied clade to low elevations. We also identify regions of Guerrero and Oaxaca where multiple species co-occur. To reevaluate the quality of characters that have been previously used to diagnose species, we tested for heterochrony and sexual dimorphism using microcomputed tomography and linear measurements. We found evidence for paedomorphosis as the mechanism of miniaturization in small-bodied taxa. Linear measurements confirmed that tympanum and body size are sexually dimorphic traits in both small- and large-bodied species. We used this enhanced understanding of morphological variation in the group to describe six new species. Despite this progress, we suspect that additional species await discovery, particularly in western Mexico and east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec where our sampling efforts were limited.
    • Cambrian edrioasteroid reveals new mechanism for secondary reduction of the skeleton in echinoderms

      Zamora, Samuel; Rahman, Imran; Sumrall, Colin D; Gibson, Adam P; Thompson, Jeffrey R (The Royal Society, 2022-03-09)
      Echinoderms are characterized by a distinctive high-magnesium calcite endoskeleton as adults, but elements of this have been drastically reduced in some groups. Herein, we describe a new pentaradial echinoderm, Yorkicystis haefneri n. gen. n. sp., which provides, to our knowledge, the oldest evidence of secondary non-mineralization of the echinoderm skeleton. This material was collected from the Cambrian Kinzers Formation in York (Pennsylvania, USA) and is dated as ca 510 Ma. Detailed morphological observations demonstrate that the ambulacra (i.e. axial region) are composed of flooring and cover plates, but the rest of the body (i.e. extraxial region) is preserved as a dark film and lacks any evidence of skeletal plating. Moreover, X-ray fluorescence analysis reveals that the axial region is elevated in iron. Based on our morphological and chemical data and on taphonomic comparisons with other fossils from the Kinzers Formation, we infer that the axial region was originally calcified, while the extraxial region was non-mineralized. Phylogenetic analyses recover Yorkicystis as an edrioasteroid, indicating that this partial absence of skeleton resulted from a secondary reduction. We hypothesize that skeletal reduction resulted from lack of expression of the skeletogenic gene regulatory network in the extraxial body wall during development. Secondary reduction of the skeleton in Yorkicystis might have allowed for greater flexibility of the body wall.
    • Revision of the Tomoderinae (Coleoptera: Anthicidae). Part III. New species and records of Macrotomoderus Pic, 1901 from China and a key to the Palaearctic species

      Telnov, Dmitry (Consortium of European Natural History Museums, 2022-02-24)
      Descriptions of the following 23 species of Macrotomoderus Pic, 1901 new to science, from continental China, are provided as an addition to the recently published review of the genus from China and Taiwan (Telnov 2018): M. angelinii, M. belousovi, M. bicrispus, M. boops, M. bordonii, M. dali, M. daxiangling, M. femoridens, M. hajeki, M. hartmanni, M. hengduan, M. imitator, M. kabaki, M. korolevi, M. lapidarius, M. muli, M. palaung, M. similis, M. tenuis, M. transitans, M. truncatulus, M. usitatus, and M. wudu spp. nov. Additional records are provided for some poorly known species. The identification key to the species of Macrotomoderus from China, the Japanese Archipelago, and Taiwan is herewith significantly supplemented and updated. Biogeographical peculiarities and altitudinal gradient of Macrotomoderus distribution in continental China are briefly discussed.
    • Clade-wide variation in bite-force 1 performance is determined primarily by 2 size not ecology.

      Isip, Justin E; Jones, Marc EH; Cooper, Natalie (Royal Society, 2022-02-23)
      Performance traits are tightly linked to the fitness of organisms. However, because studies of variation in performance traits generally focus on just one or several closely-related species, we are unable to draw broader conclusions about how and why these traits vary across clades. One important performance trait related to many aspects of an animal’s life history is bite-force. Here we use a clade-wide phylogenetic comparative approach to investigate relationships between size, head dimensions and bite-force among lizards and tuatara (lepidosaurs), using the largest bite-force dataset collated to date for any taxonomic group. We test four predictions: that bite-force will be greater in larger species, and for a given body size, bite-force will be greatest in species with acrodont tooth attachment, herbivorous diets, and non-burrowing habits. We show that bite-force is strongly related to body and head size across lepidosaurs and, as predicted, larger species have the greatest bite-forces. Contrary to our other predictions, tooth attachment, diet and habit have little predictive power when accounting for size. Herbivores bite more forcefully simply because they are larger. Our results also highlight priorities for future sampling to further enhance our understanding of broader evolutionary patterns.
    • Revision of the “ Chloritis delibrata (Benson, 1836)” group (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora, Camaenidae)

      Páll-Gergely, Barna; Ablett, J; Szabó, Márton; Neubert, Eike (Pensoft Publishers, 2022-02-15)
      Chloritis delibrata (Benson, 1836), known from northeastern India, was believed to have three varietal forms, sometimes mentioned as subspecies: C. delibrata var. khasiensis (Nevill, 1877) and C. delibrata var. fasciata (Godwin-Austen, 1875) from the Khasi Hills, India, and C. delibrata var. procumbens (Gould, 1844) from Dawei in Myanmar. The reproductive anatomy of the latter form is known and does not match with those of any continental camaenid genera, but does with that of the newly examined Chloritis platytropis Möllendorff, 1894 from Thailand. The latter species is conchologically similar to Bouchetcamaena huberi Thach, 2018 (synonym of Helix fouresi Morlet, 1886), which is the type species of the genus Bouchetcamaena Thach, 2018. Thus, Bouchetcamaena can provisionally host the entire Chloritis delibrata -group with the exception of var. fasciata, which is transferred to Burmochloritis Godwin-Austen, 1920 due to the multiple reddish bands on its shell. The examination of shells deposited in the Natural History Museum, London revealed that seven morphologically distinguishable forms are present, which are accepted here as representing distinct species. Four new species are described from India: Bouchetcamaena foveata Páll-Gergely sp. nov., B. fusca Páll-Gergely sp. nov., B. raripila Páll-Gergely sp. nov., and B. subdelibrata Páll-Gergely sp. nov.
    • A diversification relay race from Caribbean-Mesoamerica to the Andes: historical biogeography of Xylophanes hawkmoths

      Li, Xuankun; Hamilton, Chris A; St Laurent, Ryan; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Markee, Amanda; HAXAIRE, Jean; ROUGERIE, Rodolphe; Kitching, I; Kawahara, Akito Y (The Royal Society, 2022-02-09)
      The regions of the Andes and Caribbean-Mesoamerica are both hypothesized to be the cradle for many Neotropical lineages, but few studies have fully investigated the dynamics and interactions between Neotropical bioregions. The New World hawkmoth genus Xylophanes is the most taxonomically diverse genus in the Sphingidae, with the highest endemism and richness in the Andes and Caribbean-Mesoamerica. We integrated phylogenomic and DNA barcode data and generated the first time-calibrated tree for this genus, covering 93.8% of the species diversity. We used event-based likelihood ancestral area estimation and biogeographic stochastic mapping to examine the speciation and dispersal dynamics of Xylophanes across bioregions. We also used trait-dependent diversification models to compare speciation and extinction rates of lineages associated with different bioregions. Our results indicate that Xylophanes originated in Caribbean-Mesoamerica in the Late Miocene, and immediately diverged into five major clades. The current species diversity and distribution of Xylophanes can be explained by two consecutive phases. In the first phase, the highest Xylophanes speciation and emigration rates occurred in the Caribbean-Mesoamerica, and the highest immigration rates occurred in the Andes, whereas in the second phase the highest immigration rates were found in Amazonia, and the Andes had the highest speciation and emigration rates.
    • Genome-wide insights into adaptive hybridisation across the Schistosoma haematobium group in West and Central Africa

      Landeryou, Toby; Rabone, M; Allan, F; Maddren, Rosie; Rollinson, D; Webster, BL; Tchuem-Tchuenté, Louis-Albert; Anderson, Roy M; Emery, AM (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2022-01-31)
      Schistosomiasis remains a public health concern across sub-Saharan Africa; current control programmes rely on accurate mapping and high mass drug administration (MDA) coverage to attempt disease elimination. Inter-species hybridisation can occur between certain species, changing epidemiological dynamics within endemic regions, which has the potential to confound control interventions. The impact of hybridisation on disease dynamics is well illustrated in areas of Cameroon where urogenital schistosomiasis, primarily due to Schistosoma haematobium and hybrid infections, now predominate over intestinal schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma guineensis. Genetic markers have shown the ability to identify hybrids, however the underlying genomic architecture of divergence and introgression between these species has yet to be established. In this study, restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) was used on archived adult worms initially identified as; Schistosoma bovis (n = 4), S. haematobium (n = 9), S. guineensis (n = 3) and S. guineensis x S. haematobium hybrids (n = 4) from Mali, Senegal, Niger, São Tomé and Cameroon. Genome-wide evidence supports the existence of S. guineensis and S. haematobium hybrid populations across Cameroon. The hybridisation of S. guineensis x S. haematobium has not been demonstrated on the island of São Tomé, where all samples showed no introgression with S. haematobium. Additionally, all S. haematobium isolates from Nigeria, Mali and Cameroon indicated signatures of genomic introgression from S. bovis. Adaptive loci across the S. haematobium group showed that voltage-gated calcium ion channels (Ca v) could play a key role in the ability to increase the survivability of species, particularly in host systems. Where admixture has occurred between S. guineensis and S. haematobium, the excess introgressive influx of tegumental (outer helminth body) and antigenic genes from S. haematobium has increased the adaptive response in hybrids, leading to increased hybrid population fitness and viability.
    • The genus Orionis Shaw (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Euphorinae) in the Old World

      Broad, G; Stigenberg, Julia (Pensoft Publishers, 2021-12-30)
      The euphorine braconid genus Orionis Shaw, 1987 is found to be more diverse in the Old World than had previously been recognised. Orionis was regarded previously as largely Neotropical, with one Oriental species (Orionis orientalis Shimbori & Shaw, 2016) known from Thailand, but we recognise an additional three species from the Oriental and Palaearctic regions. Three species of Euphorinae are transferred to Orionis Shaw, 1987 and are new combinations: Orionis coxator (Belokobylskij, 1995), comb. nov., Orionis erratus (Chen & van Achterberg, 1997), comb. nov., and Orionis flavifacies (Belokobylskij, 2000), comb. nov. Previously known from the Far Eastern Palaearctic, O. coxator has surprisingly been found in Europe, in Belgium, England and the Netherlands. The inclusion of these species in Orionis whereas most previous species have been described from the Neotropics, is justified by Bayesian analysis of the D2 region of 28S, Cytochrome Oxidase I barcode sequences, and morphology.
    • Correlative tomography of an exceptionally preserved Jurassic ammonite implies hyponome-propelled swimming

      Cherns, Lesley; Spencer, Alan RT; Rahman, Imran; Garwood, Russell J; Reedman, Christopher; Burca, Genoveva; Turner, Martin J; Hollingworth, Neville TJ; Hilton, Jason (Geological Society of America, 2021-12-07)
      The extreme rarity of soft-tissue preservation in ammonoids has meant there are open questions regarding fundamental aspects of their biology. We report an exceptionally preserved Middle Jurassic ammonite with unrivaled information on soft-body organization interpreted through correlative neutron and X-ray tomography. Three-dimensional imaging of muscles and organs of the body mass for the first time in this iconic fossil group provides key insights into functional morphology. We show that paired dorsal muscles withdrew the body into the shell, rather than acting with the funnel controlling propulsion as in Nautilus. This suggests a mobile, retractable body as a defense strategy and necessitates a distinct swimming mechanism of hyponome propulsion, a trait that we infer evolved early in the ammonoid-coleoid lineage.
    • Pre‐ and postzygotic mechanisms preventing hybridization in co‐occurring species of the Impatiens purpureoviolacea complex

      Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Jandová, Michaela; Líblová, Zuzana; Janssens, Steven B; Dostálek, Tomáš; Holstein, Norbert; Fischer, Eberhard (Wiley, 2021-11-24)
      In the species-rich genus Impatiens, few natural hybrids are known, even though closely related species often occur sympatrically. In this study, we aim to bridge the gap between micro- and macro-evolution to disentangle pre- and postzygotic mechanisms that may prevent hybridization in the Impatiens purpureoviolacea complex from Central Africa. We analyzed habitat types, species distribution, pollination syndromes, pollinator dependency, genome sizes, and chromosome numbers of seven out of the ten species of the complex as well as of one natural hybrid and reconstructed the ancestral chromosome numbers of the complex. Several species of the complex occur in sympatry or geographically very close to each other. All of them are characterized by pre- and/or postzygotic mechanisms potentially preventing hybridization. We found four independent polyploidization events within the complex. The only known natural hybrid always appears as single individual and is self-fertile. But the plants resulting from self-pollinated seeds often die shortly after first flowering. These results indicate that the investigated mechanisms in combination may effectively but not absolutely prevent hybridization in Impatiens and probably occur in other genera with sympatric species as well.
    • Hidden Phylogenomic Signal Helps Elucidate Arsenurine Silkmoth Phylogeny and the Evolution of Body Size and Wing Shape Trade-Offs

      Hamilton, Chris A; Winiger, Nathalie; Rubin, Juliette J; Breinholt, Jesse; ROUGERIE, Rodolphe; Kitching, I; Barber, Jesse R; Kawahara, Akito Y (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-11-13)
      One of the key objectives in biological research is understanding how evolutionary processes have produced Earth’s diversity. A critical step toward revealing these processes is an investigation of evolutionary tradeoffs—that is, the opposing pressures of multiple selective forces. For millennia, nocturnal moths have had to balance successful flight, as they search for mates or host plants, with evading bat predators. However, the potential for evolutionary trade-offs between wing shape and body size are poorly understood. In this study, we used phylogenomics and geometric morphometrics to examine the evolution of wing shape in the wild silkmoth subfamily Arsenurinae (Saturniidae) and evaluate potential evolutionary relationships between body size and wing shape. The phylogeny was inferred based on 782 loci from target capture data of 42 arsenurine species representing all 10 recognized genera. After detecting in our data one of the most vexing problems in phylogenetic inference—a region of a tree that possesses short branches and no “support” for relationships (i.e., a polytomy), we looked for hidden phylogenomic signal (i.e., inspecting differing phylogenetic inferences, alternative support values, quartets, and phylogenetic networks) to better illuminate the most probable generic relationships within the subfamily. We found there are putative evolutionary trade-offs between wing shape, body size, and the interaction of fore- and hindwing (HW) shape. Namely, body size tends to decrease with increasing HW length but increases as forewing (FW) shape becomes more complex. Additionally, the type of HW (i.e., tail or no tail) a lineage possesses has a significant effect on the complexity of FW shape. We outline possible selective forces driving the complex HW shapes that make Arsenurinae, and silkmoths as a whole, so charismatic. [Anchored hybrid enrichment; Arsenurinae; geometric morphometrics; Lepidoptera; phylogenomics; Saturniidae.]
    • The first fossil Coleoptera record from the Volyn Region, Ukraine, with description of a new Glesoconomorphus (Coleoptera, Mycteridae) in syninclusion with Winterschmidtiidae (Acari) and a key to species

      Telnov, Dmitry; Perkovsky, Evgeny E; Vasilenko, Dmitry V; Yamamoto, Shûhei (Pensoft Publishers, 2021-11-08)
      Glesoconomorphus ekaterinae sp. nov. (Coleoptera, Mycteridae), representing the first ever fossil species of Coleoptera from the Volyn Region of Ukraine and the first mycterid from late Eocene Rovno amber, is described and illustrated. A key to species of the fossil mycterid genus Glesoconomorphus Alekseev, Pollock & Bukejs, 2019 is presented. The systematic position of Glesoconomorphus within Eurypinae J. Thomson, 1860 is briefly discussed. The oldest finding of phoretic Winterschmidtiidae Oudemans, 1923 mites, found on the type specimen of the new beetle species, is reported.