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Roda F.,University of Queensland | Liu H.,University of Queensland | Wilkinson M.J.,University of Queensland | Walter G.M.,University of Queensland | And 9 more authors.
Evolution | Year: 2013

Adaptation to replicate environments is often achieved through similar phenotypic solutions. Whether selection also produces convergent genomic changes in these situations remains largely unknown. The variable groundsel, Senecio lautus, is an excellent system to investigate the genetic underpinnings of convergent evolution, because morphologically similar forms of these plants have adapted to the same environments along the coast of Australia. We compared range-wide patterns of genomic divergence in natural populations of this plant and searched for regions putatively affected by natural selection. Our results indicate that environmental adaptation followed complex genetic trajectories, affecting multiple loci, implying both the parallel recruitment of the same alleles and the divergence of completely different genomic regions across geography. An analysis of the biological functions of candidate genes suggests that adaptation to coastal environments may have occurred through the recruitment of different genes participating in similar processes. The relatively low genetic convergence that characterizes the parallel evolution of S. lautus forms suggests that evolution is more constrained at higher levels of biological organization. © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.


Kittel R.N.,Australian Center for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity | Kittel R.N.,University of Adelaide | Austin A.D.,Australian Center for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity | Austin A.D.,University of Adelaide
Journal of Natural History | Year: 2016

Here we focus on the poorly studied braconid wasp subfamily Cheloninae for the arid zone of the Australian continent, using material, in part, resulting from comprehensive surveys of three arid zone reserves. The Bush Blitz programme is a multi-institutional project with the aim of documenting the diversity of the flora and fauna in Australia’s National Reserve System, with describing new species being a key focus of the programme. In total, 11 species from the genera Ascogaster and Phanerotoma are treated, with species’ delimitation based on both molecular and morphological data. Two species are redescribed (Phanerotoma behriae Zettel, 1988a and P. decticauda Zettel, 1988a) and nine species are described as new (Ascogaster brevivena sp. nov., A. ferruginegaster sp. nov., A. prolixogaster sp. nov., A. rubriscapa sp. nov., Phanerotoma bonbonensis sp. nov., P. bushblitz sp. nov., P. lutea sp. nov., P. nigriscapulata sp. nov. and P. witchelinaensis sp. nov.). Keys to the arid zone species of these two genera are provided, along with a species richness estimation of Australian chelonine wasps. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.


Kittel R.N.,Australian Center for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity | Kittel R.N.,University of Adelaide
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Megascogaster wallacei sp. n. is described from Sulawesi, Indonesia. This is the first representative south of the Philippines and is only the second species of this rare genus described since the type species, M. elongata Baker, 1926. The presence of Megascogaster in Sulawesi, a part of Wallacea, points to a broader distribution of the genus in Southeast Asia. A redescription of M. elongata and a description of the new species M. wallacei are presented along with a key to separate them. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press.


Jennings J.T.,Australian Center for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity | Jennings J.T.,University of Adelaide | Krogmann L.,State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart | Mew S.L.,University of Adelaide
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

Hyptia deansi sp. nov. represents the first record of Evaniidae (Hymenoptera) from Lower Miocene to Upper Oligocene Mexican amber, Simojovel, Chiapas, Mexico and is described based on a well preserved female specimen. Phylogenetically relevant morphological characters are discussed with reference to fossil and extant genera of Evaniidae. The new fossil is placed in the extant New World genus Hyptia Illiger 1807, based on the presence of just a single fore wing cell, the absence of tubular veins M+CU, 1CUa, 1Cub, and the presence of 11 flagellomeres.


Kittel R.N.,Australian Center for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity | Austin A.D.,Australian Center for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity
Journal of Natural History | Year: 2015

Here we focus on the poorly studied braconid wasp subfamily Cheloninae for the arid zone of the Australian continent, using material, in part, resulting from comprehensive surveys of three arid zone reserves. The Bush Blitz programme is a multi-institutional project with the aim of documenting the diversity of the flora and fauna in Australia’s National Reserve System, with describing new species being a key focus of the programme. In total, 11 species from the genera Ascogaster and Phanerotoma are treated, with species’ delimitation based on both molecular and morphological data. Two species are redescribed (Phanerotoma behriae Zettel, 1988a and P. decticauda Zettel, 1988a) and nine species are described as new (Ascogaster brevivena sp. nov., A. ferruginegaster sp. nov., A. prolixogaster sp. nov., A. rubriscapa sp. nov., Phanerotoma bonbonensis sp. nov., P. bushblitz sp. nov., P. lutea sp. nov., P. nigriscapulata sp. nov. and P. witchelinaensis sp. nov.). Keys to the arid zone species of these two genera are provided, along with a species richness estimation of Australian chelonine wasps. http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:054A948A-5B2F-4A23-BC77-A8F9239094C0 © 2015 Taylor & Francis

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