Naomi E Pierce

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We present a large-scale molecular phylogeny of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), based on 4.5 kilobases of sequence data from six gene regions extracted from 139 of the 288 described extant genera, representing 19 of the 20 subfamilies. All but two subfamilies are recovered as monophyletic. Divergence time estimates calibrated by minimum age constraints(More)
The estimated 6000 species of Lycaenidae account for about one third of all Papilionoidea. The majority of lycaenids have associations with ants that can be facultative or obligate and range from mutualism to parasitism. Lycaenid larvae and pupae employ complex chemical and acoustical signals to manipulate ants. Cost/benefit analyses have demonstrated(More)
We investigate the evolution of host association in a cryptic complex of mutualistic Crematogaster (Decacrema) ants that inhabits and defends Macaranga trees in Southeast Asia. Previous phylogenetic studies based on limited samplings of Decacrema present conflicting reconstructions of the evolutionary history of the association, inferring both cospeciation(More)
Butterflies in the large Palearctic genus Agrodiaetus (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) are extremely uniform and exhibit few distinguishing morphological characters. However, these insects are distinctive in one respect: as a group they possess among the greatest interspecific karyotype diversity in the animal kingdom, with chromosome numbers (n) ranging from 10(More)
Ants are a dominant feature of terrestrial ecosystems, yet we know little about the forces that drive their evolution. Recent findings illustrate that their diets range from herbivorous to predaceous, with "herbivores" feeding primarily on exudates from plants and sap-feeding insects. Persistence on these nitrogen-poor food sources raises the question of(More)
Since the time of Darwin, evolutionary biologists have been fascinated by the spectacular adaptations to insect pollination exhibited by orchids. However, despite being the most diverse plant family on Earth, the Orchidaceae lack a definitive fossil record and thus many aspects of their evolutionary history remain obscure. Here we report an exquisitely(More)
Phylogenetic relationships among major clades of butterflies and skippers have long been controversial, with no general consensus even today. Such lack of resolution is a substantial impediment to using the otherwise well studied butterflies as a model group in biology. Here we report the results of a combined analysis of DNA sequences from three genes and(More)
The reinforcement model of evolution argues that natural selection enhances pre-zygotic isolation between divergent populations or species by selecting against unfit hybrids or costly interspecific matings. Reinforcement is distinguished from other models that consider the formation of reproductive isolation to be a by-product of divergent evolution.(More)
Many pathogens are virulent because they specifically interfere with host defense responses and therefore can proliferate. Here, we report that virulent strains of the bacterial phytopathogen Pseudomonas syringae induce systemic susceptibility to secondary P. syringae infection in the host plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This systemic induced susceptibility(More)
Despite the fact that Bicyclus anynana has become an important model species for wing-pattern developmental biology and studies of phenotypic plasticity, little is known of the evolutionary history of the genus Bicyclus and the position of B. anynana. Understanding the evolution of development as well as the evolution of plasticity can be attempted in this(More)