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To assess the coextinction of species (the loss of a species upon the loss of another), we present a probabilistic model, scaled with empirical data. The model examines the relationship between coextinction levels (proportion of species extinct) of affiliates and their hosts across a wide range of coevolved interspecific systems: pollinating Ficus wasps and(More)
As a first attempt to use molecular data to resolve the relationships between the four suborders of lice and within the suborder Ischnocera, we sequenced a 347-bp fragment of the elongation factor 1alpha gene of 127 lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) as well as outgroup taxa from the order Psocoptera. A number of well-supported monophyletic groups were found but(More)
Few estimates of relative substitution rates, and the underlying mutation rates, exist between mitochondrial and nuclear genes in insects. Previous estimates for insects indicate a 2-9 times faster substitution rate in mitochondrial genes relative to nuclear genes. Here we use novel methods for estimating relative rates of substitution, which incorporate(More)
Parasites can be used as unique markers to investigate host evolutionary history, independent of host data. Here we show that modern human head lice, Pediculus humanus, are composed of two ancient lineages, whose origin predates modern Homo sapiens by an order of magnitude (ca. 1.18 million years). One of the two louse lineages has a worldwide distribution(More)
Traditional approaches for digitizing natural history collections, which include both imaging and metadata capture, are both labour- and time-intensive. Mass-digitization can only be completed if the resource-intensive steps, such as specimen selection and databasing of associated information, are minimized. Digitization of larger collections should employ(More)
We demonstrate how a classical taxonomic description of a new species can be enhanced by applying new generation molecular methods, and novel computing and imaging technologies. A cave-dwelling centipede, Eupolybothrus cavernicolus Komerički & Stoev sp. n. (Chilopoda: Lithobiomorpha: Lithobiidae), found in a remote karst region in Knin, Croatia, is the(More)
A major fraction of the diversity of insects is parasitic, as herbivores, parasitoids or vertebrate ectopara sites. Understanding this diversity requires information on the origin of parasitism in various insect groups. Parasitic lice (Phthiraptera) are the only major group of insects in which all members are permanent parasites of birds or mammals. Lice(More)
BACKGROUND Parasites are evolutionary hitchhikers whose phylogenies often track the evolutionary history of their hosts. Incongruence in the evolutionary history of closely associated lineages can be explained through a variety of possible events including host switching and host independent speciation. However, in recently diverged lineages stochastic(More)
BACKGROUND Sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura) are obligate, permanent ectoparasites of eutherian mammals, parasitizing members of 12 of the 29 recognized mammalian orders and approximately 20% of all mammalian species. These host specific, blood-sucking insects are morphologically adapted for life on mammals: they are wingless, dorso-ventrally flattened,(More)