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Haile-Selassie Y.,Cleveland Museum of Natural History | Haile-Selassie Y.,Case Western Reserve University | Gibert L.,University of Barcelona | Melillo S.M.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 6 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

Middle Pliocene hominin species diversity has been a subject of debate over the past two decades, particularly after the naming of Australopithecus bahrelghazali and Kenyanthropus platyops in addition to the well-known species Australopithecus afarensis. Further analyses continue to support the proposal that several hominin species co-existed during this time period. Here we recognize a new hominin species (Australopithecus deyiremeda sp. nov.) from 3.3-3.5-million-year-old deposits in the Woranso-Mille study area, central Afar, Ethiopia. The new species from Woranso-Mille shows that there were at least two contemporaneous hominin species living in the Afar region of Ethiopia between 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago, and further confirms early hominin taxonomic diversity in eastern Africa during the Middle Pliocene epoch. The morphology of Au. deyiremeda also reinforces concerns related to dentognathic (that is, jaws and teeth) homoplasy in Plio-Pleistocene hominins, and shows that some dentognathic features traditionally associated with Paranthropus and Homo appeared in the fossil record earlier than previously thought. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

Svenson G.J.,Cleveland Museum of Natural History
ZooKeys | Year: 2014

The praying mantis genus Liturgusa Saussure, 1869 occurs only in Central and South America and represents the most diverse genus of Neotropical Liturgusini (Ehrmann 2002). The genus includes bark dwelling species, which live entirely on the trunks and branches of trees and run extremely fast. All species included within the genus Liturgusa are comprehensively revised with a distribution stretching from central Mexico, the island of Dominica to the southeastern regions of Brazil and southern Bolivia. All known species are redescribed to meet the standards of the new treatment of the genus (11 species). Three new genera are described including Fuga gen. n., Velox gen. n., and Corticomantis gen. n. for species previously included in Liturgusa as well as Hagiomantis. Liturgusa mesopoda Westwood, 1889 is moved to within the previously described genus Hagiomantis Audinet Serville, 1838. A total of 19 species are newly described within Liturgusa, Fuga, and Velox including L. algorei sp. n., L. bororum sp. n., L. cameroni sp. n., L. cura sp. n., L. dominica sp. n., L. fossetti sp. n., L. kirtlandi sp. n., L. krattorum sp. n., L. manausensis sp. n., L. maroni sp. n., L. milleri sp. n., L. neblina sp. n., L. purus sp. n., L. stiewei sp. n., L. tessae sp. n., L. trinidadensis sp. n., L. zoae sp. n., F. grimaldii sp. n., and V. wielandi sp. n. Four species names are synonymized: Liturgusa peruviana Giglio-Tos, 1914, syn. n. = Liturgusa nubeculosa Gerstaecker, 1889 and Hagiomantis parva Piza, 1966, syn. n., Liturgusa sinvalnetoi Piza, 1982, syn. n., and Liturgusa parva Giglio-Tos, 1914, syn. n. = Mantis annulipes Audinet Serville, 1838. Lectotypes are designated for the following two species: Liturgusa maya Saussure & Zehntner, 1894 and Fuga annulipes (Audinet Serville, 1838). A male neotype is designated for Liturgusa guyanensis La Greca, 1939. Males for eight species are described for the first time including Liturgusa cayennensis Saussure, 1869, Liturgusa lichenalis Gerstaecker, 1889, Liturgusa guyanensis La Greca, 1939, Liturgusa maya Saussure & Zehntner, 1894, Liturgusa nubeculosa Gerstaecker, 1889, Fuga annulipes (Audinet Serville, 1838), Corticomantis atricoxata (Beier, 1931), and Hagiomantis mesopoda (Westwood, 1889). The female of Fuga fluminensis (Piza, 1965) is described for the first time. Complete bibliographic histories are provided for previously described species. The spelling confusion surrounding Liturgusa/Liturgousa is resolved. Full habitus images for males and females are provided for nearly all species. Habitus and label images of type specimens are provided when possible. Diagnostic illustrations of the head and pronotum for males and females are provided for all species when possible. Illustrations of male genital structures are provided for all species for which males are known. Measurement data, including ranges and averages, are provided for males and females of all species. Combined male and female genus and species level dichotomous keys are provided with a Spanish translation. A complete table of all examined specimens lists label data, museum codes, repositories, and other specimen specific information. A KML file with all georeferenced locality records is downloadable from mantodearesearch.com for viewing in Google Earth. Natural history information is provided for species observed by the author. © Gavin J. Svenson. Source

Haile-Selassie Y.,Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2010

The earliest evidence of Australopithecus goes back to ca 4.2 Ma with the first recorded appearance of Australopithecus 'anamensis' at Kanapoi, Kenya. Australopithecus afarensis is well documented between 3.6 and 3.0 Ma mainly from deposits at Laetoli (Tanzania) and Hadar (Ethiopia). The phylogenetic relationship of these two 'species' is hypothesized as ancestor-descendant. However, the lack of fossil evidence from the time between 3.6 and 3.9 Ma has been one of its weakest points. Recent fieldwork in the Woranso-Mille study area in the Afar region of Ethiopia has yielded fossil hominids dated between 3.6 and 3.8 Ma. These new fossils play a significant role in testing the proposed relationship between Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis. The Woranso-Mille hominids (3.6-3.8 Ma) show a mosaic of primitive, predominantly Au. anamensis-like, and some derived (Au. afarensis-like) dentognathic features. Furthermore, they show that, as currently known, there are no discrete and functionally significant anatomical differences between Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis. Based on the currently available evidence, it appears that there is no compelling evidence to falsify the hypothesis of 'chronospecies pair' or ancestor-descendant relationship between Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis. Most importantly, however, the temporally and morphologically intermediate Woranso-Mille hominids indicate that the species names Au. afarensis and Au. anamensis do not refer to two real species, but rather to earlier and later representatives of a single phyletically evolving lineage. However, if retaining these two names is necessary for communication purposes, the Woranso-Mille hominids are best referred to as Au. anamensis based on new dentognathic evidence. © 2010 The Royal Society. Source

Hodgson C.J.,The National Museum of Wales | Hardy N.B.,Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Systematic Entomology | Year: 2013

Currently, 49 families of scale insects are recognised, 33 of which are extant. Despite more than a decade of DNA sequence-based phylogenetic studies of scales insects, little is known with confidence about relationships among scale insects families. Multiple lines of evidence support the monophyly of a group of 18 scale insect families informally referred to as the neococcoids. Among neococcoid families, published DNA sequence-based estimates have supported Eriococcidae paraphyly with respect to Beesoniidae, Dactylopiidae, and Stictococcidae. No other neococcoid interfamily relationship has been strongly supported in a published study that includes exemplars of more than ten families. Likewise, no well-supported relationships among the 15 extant scale insect families that are not neococcoids (usually referred to as 'archaeococcoids') have been published. We use a Bayesian approach to estimate the scale insect phylogeny from 162 adult male morphological characters, scored from 269 extant and 29 fossil species representing 43/49 families. The result is the most taxonomically comprehensive, most resolved and best supported estimate of phylogenetic relationships among scale insect families to date. Notable results include strong support for (i) Ortheziidae sister to Matsucoccidae, (ii) a clade comprising all scale insects except for Margarodidae s.s., Ortheziidae and Matsucoccidae, (iii) Coelostomidiidae paraphyletic with respect to Monophlebidae, (iv) Eriococcidae paraphyletic with respect to Stictococcidae and Beesoniidae, and (v) Aclerdidae sister to Coccidae. We recover strong support for a clade comprising Phenacoleachiidae, Pityococcidae, Putoidae, Steingeliidae and the neococcoids, along with a sister relationship between this clade and Coelostomidiidae+Monophlebidae. In addition, we recover strong support for Pityococcidae+Steingeliidae as sister to the neococcoids. Data from fossils were incomplete, and the inclusion of extinct taxa in the data matrix reduced support and phylogenetic structure. Nonetheless, these fossil data will be invaluable in DNA sequence-based and total evidence estimates of phylogenetic divergence times. © 2013 The Royal Entomological Society. Source

Hardy N.B.,Cleveland Museum of Natural History | Cook L.G.,University of Queensland
American Naturalist | Year: 2012

Imbalances in phylogenetic diversity could be the result of variable diversification rates, differing limits on diversity, or a combination of the two. We propose an approach to distinguish between rates and limits as the primary cause of phylogenetic imbalance, using parasitic plants as a model. With sister-taxon comparisons, we show that parasitic plant lineages are typically much less diverse than their autotrophic sisters. We then use age estimates for taxa used in the sister-taxon comparisons to test for correlations between clade age and clade diversity. We find that parasitic plant diversity is not significantly correlated with the age of the lineage, whereas there is a strong positive correlation between the age and diversity of nonparasitic sister lineages. The Ericaceae sister pair Monotropoideae (parasitic) and Arbutoideae (autotrophic) is sufficiently well sampled at the species level to allow more parametric comparisons of diversification patterns. Model fitting for this group supports ecological limitation in Monotropoideae and unconstrained diversification in Arbutoideae. Thus, differences in diversity between parasitic plants and their autotrophic sisters might be caused by a combination of ecological limitation and exponential diversification. A combination of sister-taxon comparisons of diversity and age, coupled with model fitting of well-sampled phylogenies of focal taxa, provides a powerful test of likely causes of asymmetry in the diversity of lineages. © 2012 by The University of Chicago. Source

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