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Phylogenomic species delimitation, taxonomy, and "bird guide" identification for the Neotropical ant genus Rasopone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Citation

Longino, John; Branstetter, Michael (2020), Phylogenomic species delimitation, taxonomy, and "bird guide" identification for the Neotropical ant genus Rasopone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.brv15dv5v

Abstract

Rasopone Schmidt & Shattuck is a poorly known lineage of ants that live in Neotropical forests. Informed by phylogenetic results from thousands of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) and mitochondrial DNA barcodes, we revise the genus, providing a new morphological diagnosis and a species-level treatment. Analysis of UCE data from many Rasopone samples and select outgroups revealed non-monophyly of the genus. Monophyly of Rasopone was restored by transferring several species to the unrelated genus Mayaponera Schmidt & Shattuck. Within Rasopone, species are morphologically very similar, and we provide a "bird guide" approach to identification rather than the traditional dichotomous key. Species are arranged by size in a table, along with geographic range and standard images. Additional diagnostic information is then provided in individual species accounts. We recognize a total of 15 named species, of which the following are described as new species: R. costaricensis, R. cryptergates, R. cubitalis, R. guatemalensis, R. mesoamericana, R. pluviselva, R. politognatha, R. subcubitalis, and R. titanis. An additional 12 morphospecies are described but not formally named due to insufficient material. Rasopone panamensis (Forel, 1899) is removed from synonymy and elevated to species. The following species are removed from Rasopone and made new combinations in Mayaponera: M. arhuaca (Forel, 1901), M. becculata (Mackay & Mackay, 2010), M. cernua (Mackay & Mackay, 2010), M. conicula (Mackay & Mackay, 2010), M. longidentata (Mackay & Mackay, 2010), and M. pergandei (Forel, 1909).

Funding

NSF, Award: DEB-1932405