Cladistic analysis of the fire ants of the Solenopsis saevissima species‐group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  title={Cladistic analysis of the fire ants of the Solenopsis saevissima species‐group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)},
  author={James P. Pitts and Joseph V. McHugh and Kenneth G. Ross},
  journal={Zoologica Scripta},
Results are presented from a phylogenetic study of the fire ants comprising the Solenopsis saevissima species‐group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Six most‐parsimonious trees were identified following a cladistic analysis utilizing 18 taxa and 36 morphological characters derived from three castes and two developmental stages. A strict consensus tree recovered the following relationships: (S. daguerrei ((S. electra, S. pusilignis) (S. saevissima (S. pythia (S. interrupta, S. ‘undescribed species’, S… 

Revision of the Fire Ants of the Solenopsis saevissima Species-Group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

The fire ants of the Solenopsis geminata species-group of Trager (1991) are revised based on the morphology of worker larvae and of adult forms of workers, males, and gynes (winged or dealated members of the queen caste), making the taxonomic information gained from these castes no better than information from the workers.

Molecular phylogeny of fire ants of the Solenopsis saevissima species-group based on mtDNA sequences.

Comparative Immature Morphology of Brazilian Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis)

Mature larvae of S. saevissima presented considerable intraspecific variation in some characters recently proposed to aid fire ant species separation (morphology of head hairs).

Multi-Locus Molecular Phylogeny of Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

A preliminary multi-locus molecular phylogenetic analysis of Solenopsis demonstrates problems with current systematic understanding of the genus, but provides an evolutionary framework upon which to build future research.

Identification of Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Northeastern Mexico with Morphology and Molecular Markers

This work examined the sequence of the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) mitochondrial gene (mtDNA) as a marker for fire ants collected at several Mexican localities and yielded unique sequences and restriction patterns that allowed distinguishing between S. invicta, S. geminata, and specimens harboring S. xyloni sequences.

High species turnover of the ant genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) along an altitudinal gradient in the Ecuadorian Andes, indicated by a combined DNA sequencing and morphological approach

The results suggest a high species turnover along the gradient, and point to the use of morphological and DNA barcoding approaches as necessary for differentiating among Solenopsis species.

Molecular characterization of fire ants, Solenopsis spp., from Brazil based on analysis of mtDNA gene cytochrome oxidase I

Abstract Species from the Solenopsis saevissima (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) species group are native to South America and have a cosmopolitan distribution because they have been accidentally

Survey of Solenopsis Fire Ants and Their Parasitoid Flies (Diptera: Phoridae: Pseudacteon) in Central Chile and Central Western Argentina

Analysis of mtDNA from the collected flies supports the monophyly of P. obtusus and suggests that the Chilean population is similar to populations in eastern Argentina, while Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) indicates that S. gayi is genetically closer to the Argentine fire ants than the North American S. geminata-group.

Genetic analyses reveal cryptic diversity in the native North American fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis)

It is concluded that the recognised North American fire ant species represent evolutionarily independent entities and, moreover, the presumed sister status of the desert fire ants, S. aurea Wheeler and S. amblychila Wheeler is confirmed.

Molecular phylogenetic analysis and morphological reassessments of thief ants identify a new potential case of biological invasions

This work inferred a phylogeny of the two species using DNA sequence data from four nuclear genes and one mitochondrial gene sampled from populations in Florida, Guatemala, Hawaii, and Saudi Arabia and indicated that S. abdita is a novel global tramp species which has a far wider distribution than previously thought and has established itself in many new habitats and different geographic realms.



A new workerless social parasite in the ant genus Pseudomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a discussion of the origin of social parasitism in ants

There is evidence from comparative natural history that the extreme social parasitism seen in the new species from Argentina was preceded by a period of temporary social Parasitism, but ‘Emery’s Rule’– the claim that social parasites are close relatives of, and evolve from, their hosts – is not supported.

Simultaneous analysis of basal Hymenoptera (Insecta): introducing robust-choice sensitivity analysis

The relationships among superfamilies largely confirm previous hypotheses, and the relationships within Tenthredinoidea s.l. proposed here are novel: ({Argidae Pergidae}[Athalia{(Diprionidae Cimbicidae) Tenthredinidae minus Athalia}]).

The ant subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): generic revision and relationship to other formicids

Phylogenetic relationships of the Pseudomyrmecinae and other ant subfamilies within the ‘poneroid complex’ were assessed by a cladistic analysis of eleven representative ant genera, suggesting the monophyly of all four taxa.


An electrophoretic study of the genetics of three fire ant species in North America was undertaken, finding that the native fire ant, S. geminata, is genetically the most distinct of the three species studied, in accord with its taxonomic placement in a different species complex.


  • K. RossJ. Trager
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1990
Genetic incompatibilities generally may be insufficient to create effective postzygotic barriers to interspecific gene flow in this group of ants, given that hybrids between these species in the United States suffer little apparent loss of fitness.

Ant larvae of the subfamily Formicinae: second supplement

The present supplement contains descriptions of the larvae of 38 additional species in the genera Amblyopone , Anochetus, * Brachyponera, Cryptopone, * Discothyrea, * Eubothroponera , Euponera, Gnamptogenys, * Hagensia, * Heteroponera ; and Mesop onera, which are new to the authors' collection and characterized here for the 1st time.

Colony genetic structure and queen mating frequency in fire ants of the subgenus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Fire ant colonies represent simple, albeit enormous, family groups, and single insemination and foundress parentage of males appear to be conserved reproductive traits in the subgenus Solenopsis, whereas another major determinant of colony genetic structure, the number of functional queens, is evolutionarily labile in this group.

Alternative adaptations, sympatric speciation and the evolution of parasitic, inquiline ants

It is concluded that inquiline species strictly following Emery's rule could have evolved by the intraspecific route, and such species provide evidence for West-Eberhard's “alternative adaptation” hypothesis that between-species diversity frequently stems from diversity within species.

Social parasites in polistine wasps are monophyletic: implications for sympatric speciation

A partial sequence of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene for nine species of Polistes, comprising all known species of social parasites, their hosts and two outgroups, supports the hypothesis that speciation occurred allopatrically and independently of the evolution of social parasitism.

A new inquiline ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Cataglyphis and its phylogenetic relationship

Cladistic analysis indicates an independent origin of the inquiline with subsequent invasion of its host and, based on its smaller size and the delayed production of sexuals, this would be the first social parasite within Cataglyphis.