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Doubling the known endemic species diversity of New Caledonian armored scale insects (Hemiptera, Diaspididae)

Gondwana, and much of its current biota is phylogenetically related to lineages inhabiting other Southern Hemisphere landmasses. But in the Oligocene, Copyright Nate B. Hardy, Douglas J.Williams. This is an

Gene expression plasticity across hosts of an invasive scale insect species

For plant-eating insects, we still have only a nascent understanding of the genetic basis of host-use promiscuity. Here, to improve that situation, we investigated host-induced gene expression plasticity in the invasive lobate lac scale insect, Paratachardina pseudolobata (Hemiptera: Keriidae). We were particularly interested in the differential expression of detoxification and...

Specialization and generalization in the diversification of phytophagous insects: tests of the musical chairs and oscillation hypotheses

Evolutionary biologists have often assumed that ecological generalism comes at the expense of less intense exploitation of specific resources and that this trade-off will promote the evolution of ecologically specialized daughter species. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach with butterflies as a model system, we test hypotheses that incorporate changes in niche breadth and...

Clock model makes a large difference to age estimates of long-stemmed clades with no internal calibration: a test using Australian grasstrees

Background Estimating divergence times in phylogenies using a molecular clock depends on accurate modeling of nucleotide substitution rates in DNA sequences. Rate heterogeneity among lineages is likely to affect estimates, especially in lineages with long stems and short crowns (“broom” clades) and no internal calibration. We evaluate the performance of the random local clocks...

ScaleNet: a literature-based model of scale insect biology and systematics

Scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) are small herbivorous insects found on all continents except Antarctica. They are extremely invasive, and many species are serious agricultural pests. They are also emerging models for studies of the evolution of genetic systems, endosymbiosis and plant-insect interactions. ScaleNet was launched in 1995 to provide insect identifiers, pest...

Gall-induction in insects: evolutionary dead-end or speciation driver?

Nate B Hardy 1 Lyn G Cook 0 0 The University of Queensland, School of Biological Sciences , Brisbane, Queensland 4072 , Australia 1 Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries , Entomology, Brisbane