Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz

Schönau am Königssee, Germany

Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz

Schönau am Königssee, Germany
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Poddubnaya L.G.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Xylander W.E.R.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz | Gibson D.I.,Natural History Museum in London
Systematic Parasitology | Year: 2012

Transmission electron microscopical observations were made on the protonephridial terminal organ and associated ducts of three adult trematodes, the aspidogastrean Aspidogaster limacoides Diesing, 1835 and the digeneans Azygia lucii (Müller, 1776) and Phyllodistomum angulatum Linstow, 1907, and the monogenean Ancyrocephalus paradoxus Creplin, 1839. Previously unreported ultrastructural details of the terminal organ of adult trematodes include multiple contact sites (septate junctions and zonulae adherentes) between the membranes of the terminal and adjacent canal cells. Septate junctions traverse the epithelial cytoplasm of the canal wall, and the same type of septate junctions are observed within the cytoplasmic cord at the level of the tip of the flame tuft in both longitudinal and oblique sections of all three trematode species studied. In the monopisthocotylean Ancyrocephalus paradoxus, the absence of any junctions in the cytoplasmic cord and the presence of septate junction within all of the protonephridial ducts are reported. On the basis of the small number of monogenean species in which these features have been studied, in relation to the size of the group, there seems to be a high diversity in some characters of the protonephridial terminal organ. The study confirms that the Aspidogastrea and Digenea possess the same morphology of their protonephridial terminal organ and, although this differs slightly from that of most members of the Monogenea so far studied, it supports previous views on the close relationship of these groups. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Schlick-Steiner B.C.,University of Innsbruck | Steiner F.M.,University of Innsbruck | Seifert B.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz | Stauffer C.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 2 more authors.
Annual Review of Entomology | Year: 2010

Good alpha taxonomy is central to biology. On the basis of a survey of arthropod studies that used multiple disciplines for species delimitation, we evaluated the performance of single disciplines. All included disciplines had a considerable failure rate. Rigor in species delimitation can thus be increased when several disciplines chosen for complementarity are used. We present a flexible procedure and stopping rule for integrative taxonomy that uses the information from different disciplines separately. Disagreement among disciplines over the number and demarcation of species is resolved by elucidating and invoking evolutionary explanations for disagreement. With the identification of further promising study organisms and of new questions for in-depth analysis, evolutionary biology should profit from integrative taxonomy. An important rationale is clarity in researcher bias in the decision-making process. The success of integrative taxonomy will further increase through methodological progress, taxonomic training of evolutionary biologists, and balanced resource allocation. © 2010 by Annual Reviews All rights reserved.


Decker P.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz | Reip H.S.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz | Voigtlander K.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz
Biodiversity Data Journal | Year: 2014

A review is given of all the literature records of millipedes and centipedes that have been found in German greenhouses together with additional records for 29 such sites. Species lists are given for 46 greenhouses investigated throughout Germany. Thirty-five diplopod and 18 chilopod species were found to occur in greenhouses, of which 15 (3 Chilopoda, 12 Diplopoda) are restricted to this type of habitat. First records for Germany include Anadenobolus monilicornis (Porat, 1876), Epinannolene cf. trinidadensis Chamberlin, 1918, Epinannolene sp., Mesoiulus gridellii Strasser, 1934, Leptogoniulus sorornus (Butler, 1876), Rhinotus purpureus (Pocock, 1894), Cryptops doriae Pocock, 1891, Lamyctes coeculus (Brölemann, 1889) and Tygarrup javanicus (Attems, 1907). The millipedes Oxidus gracilis (C. L. Koch, 1847) and Amphitomeus attemsi (Schubart, 1934) and the centipedes Lithobius forficatus (Linnaeus, 1758) and Cryptops hortensis (Donovan, 1810) are the species most frequently found in greenhouses. © Decker P et al.


Ant and termite nests are long-term stable, semi-closed systems constantly producing conspecific worker populations of related individuals over many generations. Accordingly, nests of these eusocial insects, as they are found in nature, offer free of cost an analysis situation that has to be generated in other groups of organisms by controlled rearing experiments. A test system based on analyzing intranidal and large-scale phenotype distributions and comparing the observed distributions with predictions for different scenarios of heterospecificity and intraspecific dimorphism is introduced by a case study on ants. The test system, named DIMORPH test, allows a taxonomist to distinguish if discrete character syndromes represent separate species or an intraspecific phenomenon. One of the most important parameters within the test system is the abundance and distribution of phenotypically mixed nest populations. Five biological explanations are possible for ant nests with a mixture of discrete phenotypes: They may represent (1) genetically determined intraspecific morphs, (2) intraspecific modifications induced by environmental factors, (3) the association of a temporary social parasite with a host species, (4) the association of a permanent social parasite with a host species, and (5) a parabiotic association of two basically independent (self-sustaining) species. The paper explains the biological background of the scenarios (1) to (5) and presents mathematical models and generalizations from empirical data to predict phenotype distributions for each scenario under variable conditions. Four cases of intraspecific dimorphism and five cases of taxonomically recognized pairs of cryptic or similar species are presented and analyzed. The observed intranidal phenotype distribution was most similar to the predicted scenario of intraspecific dimorphism in Camponotus lateralis (OLIVIER, 1792), Lasius umbratus (NYLANDER, 1846), Formica lugubris ZETTERSTEDT, 1838, and Cardiocondyla elegans EMERY, 1869. In three of these examples, intraspecific morphs had been considered previously as different species. Heterospecificity was confirmed for four pairs of cryptic species and one pair of closely related species: Formica pressilabris NYLANDER, 1846 vs. F. foreli BONDROIT, 1918, Temnothorax crassispinus (KARAVAJEV, 1926) vs. T. crasecundus SEIFERT & CSÖSZ, 2015, Temnothorax luteus (FOREL, 1874) vs. T. racovitzai (BONDROIT, 1918), two cryptic species of the Pheidole pallidula (NYLANDER, 1849) complex, and Myrmica vandeli BONDROIT, 1920 vs. M. scabrinodis NYLANDER, 1846. The phenotype-based DIMORPH test can be applied to the large worldwide collections of mounted museum material or private collections of ants independent from age or DNA degradation and can thus operate in fields where genetic investigation faces analytical and logistic problems and where controlled rearing experiments are not possible. The system can be adapted, with some modification, to other groups of eusocial organisms.


A supercolonial mound-building wood ant was intentionally introduced from the Italian Alps to Quebec, Canada, in 1971. This species was believed so far to represent Formica lugubris ZETTERSTEDT, 1838. Yet, recent investigations on the distributions of F. lugubris and the closely related species F. paralugubris SEIFERT, 1996 in the Italian Alps showed presence of both species and also that the supercolonial social type is represented here mainly by the latter species. This raised doubts on the species identity of the Canadian ants and prompted a taxonomic re-investigation. Advanced exploratory and hypothesis-driven data analyses of worker phenotype of 152 nest samples of both species from the Alps and of two samples collected from the supercolony in Quebec convincingly confirmed the Canadian introduction to represent F. paralugubris. The Quebec samples were safely allocated to the F. paralugubris cluster in both Nest Centroid (NC)-Ward and NC-K-Means clustering, a nest-centroid based principal component analysis (PCA), and a linear discriminant analysis. The error of exploratory data analyses over all 154 samples varied between 0.6% (NC-KMeans) and 1.9% (NC-Ward, PCA). A new method calculating the size of nest populations of polygynous Formica rufa group ants is introduced, according to which the growth of the Valcartier introduction was estimated from about one million workers in 1971 to 19 million workers in 2005. Data on mating biology, strategy and speed of dispersal, colony structure, and ecological requirements indicate that active spreading of this ant to areas remote from the Valcartier beachhead is unlikely. There is also a low probability of passive dispersal by unintentional anthropogenic transfer of colony fragments. Although supercolonial, F. paralugubris lacks some of the essential properties of invasive tramp ants - its species-specific preadaptations are not comparable with the situation in the imported European Fire Ant Myrmica rubra (LINNAEUS, 1758). A prediction of the role of F. paralugubris in the Nearctic forest ecosystems is presented. The concluded low risk of it becoming a dangerous invasive species does not refute the importance of keeping the situation in Quebec under careful observation.


Buchner J.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz | Tietz O.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz
Geomorphology | Year: 2012

Remnants of numerous monogenetic volcanoes are preserved in the Central European Volcanic Province (CEVP). The Landeskrone Hill, a monogenetic scoria cone in the Lusatian Volcanic Field, is reconstructed here. This was done using measurements of the dip of columnar jointing of lava lake basalts and the detailed mapping of the volcaniclastic rocks. The reconstruction implies a large scoria cone and a lava lake; filling the crater with a thickness of more than 110. m. Volcanic activity was characterized by strombolian eruptions possibly after an opening phreatomagmatic phase. A scoria cone was developed in an initial maar-diatreme volcano. A late phreatomagmatic phase could explain the unusual modified crater of the scoria cone. The conduit was emptied and so the crater was widened in this late eruption stage. An increased magma flux probably induced a change in the eruptive style and, finally, the crater was filled in a single event by a lava lake. This effusive phase completed the multi-stage volcano development. The 34. Ma-old volcano is an excellent example for the persistence of relicts of monogenetic volcanoes over a long period of time. There are some other remnants of monogenetic scoria cones that survived degradation processes in the area. With respect to the present surface, the reconstruction of the paleosurface implies low uplift and erosion rates of about 3. mm/ka since the Oligocene. These denudation values support and expand on the previously published fission track data (prior to the Upper Cretaceous) and glacial-sedimentological data on neotectonic movements since the Middle Pleistocene. The erosion rate estimated by physical volcanological data implies stagnation of tectonic uplift from the Upper Paleogene to the Middle Neogene and a reactivation of tectonic movement for the Lusatian Massif in the Middle Pleistocene. Thus, the reconstructed edifice provides a powerful tool for the study of landscape evolution by clearly defining the characteristics of the paleosurfaces at certain times. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Seifert B.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz | Yazdi A.B.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz | Schultz R.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz
Myrmecological News | Year: 2014

Palaearctic populations of Myrmica ants so far known under the name M. scabrinodis NYLANDER, 1846 were studied by combining geometric morphometrics (GM) with nest-centroid (NC) clustering and hypothesis-driven data analysis. A new cryptic species, Myrmica martini sp.n., showing a rather limited geographical range extending over largely the montane to subalpine zones of the Pyrenees and French Alps, was identified. 41 landmarks and 252 semilandmarks were fixed in the clypeus, head capsule, mesosoma and petiole aspects of 359 ant workers belonging to 106 nest samples. Extracting the 14 most diagnostic shape components from a set of 316 relative warps and running these data in NC-clustering, resulted in a complete species separation despite minute interspecific differences and large overlap in any character. The species identification provided by NC-Ward, NC-K-means and NMDS-K-Means clustering and by the controlling linear discriminant analysis agreed in each nest sample. There was no classification in disagreement with zoogeographic data. The lectotype samples of the five most similar and possibly synonymous taxa had near-to-zero pro-babilities of belonging to the M. martini sp.n. cluster: M. scabrinodis (p = 0.00015), M. scabrinodis var. rugulosoides FOREL, 1915 (p = 0.0037), M. pilosiscapus BONDROIT, 1920 (p = 0.0008), M. sabuleti var. spinosior SANTSCHI, 1931 (p = 0.0006), and M. rolandi var. reticulata STÄRCKE, 1942 (p = 0.00001). Myrmica rolandi var. reticulata, of which a lecto-type was designated here, is established as junior synonym of M. spinosior whereas M. scabrinodis var. rugulosoides and M. pilosiscapus are confirmed as junior synonyms of M. scabrinodis. We provide a rather simple system to discri-minate M. martini from M. scabrinodis requiring 8 - 10 minutes of investigation time per specimen and resulting in an error of 3.6% on the nest sample level.


Seifert B.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz | Ritz M.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz | Csosz S.,Ecology Research Group
Myrmecological News | Year: 2014

This article introduces a new application of the Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) algorithms Ward's method, Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA), K-Means clustering, and a combination of Non-Metric Multidimen-sional Scaling and K-Means clustering (NMDS-K-Means) for hypothesis formation in morphology-based alpha-taxonomy of ants. The script is written in R and freely available at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/agnesclustering/. The characte-ristic feature of the new approach is an unconventional application of linear discriminant analysis (LDA): No species hypothesis is imposed. Instead each nest sample, composed of individual ant workers, is treated as a separate class. This creates a multidimensional distance matrix between group centroids of nest samples as input data for the clustering methods. We mark the new method with the prefix "NC" (Nest Centroid). The performance of NC-Ward, NC-UPGMA, NC-K-Means clustering, and a combination of Non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling and K-Means clustering (NC-NMDS-K-Means) was comparatively tested in 48 examples with multiple morphological character sets of 74 cryptic species of 13 ant genera. Data sets were selected specifically on the criteria that the EDA methods are likely to lead to errors - i.e., for the condition that any character under consideration overlapped interspecifically in bivariate plots against body size. Morphospecies hypotheses were formed through interaction between EDA and a confirmative linear discri-minant analysis (LDA) in which samples with disagreements between the primary species hypotheses and EDA classifica-tion were set as wild-cards. Subsequent Advanced Species Hypotheses were formed by aligning Morphospecies Hypo-theses with biological and genetic data. Over all 48 cases and all four methods using nest centroid data generated by a hypothesis-free LDA, the mean deviation of clustering from Advanced Species Hypotheses was 5.25% in NC-UPGMA, 2.58% in NC-NMDS-K-Means, 2.40% in NC-Ward and 2.09% in NC-K-Means. A dramatically larger mean error of 21.50% was observed if K-Means used nest-sample means of morphological characters instead of centroid data. This indicates that having first run a hypothesis-free LDA was a deciding factor for the unexpectedly high performance of the new clustering algorithms. Advantages and disadvantages of the EDA methods are discussed. A combination of NC-Ward, NC-UPGMA and NC-K-Means clustering is recommended as the most conclusive and most rapidly work-ing routine for the exploration of cryptic species. The method is applicable to any group of eusocial organisms such as ants, bees, wasps, termites, gall-making aphids, thrips, weevils, pistol shrimps, and mole rats. In general, NC-Clustering can be applied for all cohesive systems providing repeats of definitely conspecific elements - e.g., leaves and flowers of the same plant, a coral "head" of genetically identical polyps, an aphid colony produced by a single fundatrix. It can also be used to monitor intraspecific zoogeographical structures. However, the clustering methods presented did not appear to be good tools for the investigation of hybrid scenarios, for which we recommend alternative methods.


Seifert B.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz
Myrmecological News | Year: 2012

The taxonomic status of 32 taxa of the ant genus Bothriomyrmex from Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, and the Middle East was assessed and commented. Four European species were clearly distinguished by high-performance stereomicroscopy, reproducible numeric recording of 18 phenotypical characters and multivariate analyses: B. meridionalis ROGER, 1863, B. atlantis FOREL, 1894, B. communistus SANTSCHI, 1919 and B. corsicus SANTSCHI, 1923. Type investigation and evaluation of original descriptions established that there is definitely no Palaearctic taxon described before 31 March 1923 which is a senior synonym to any of these four names. Principal component (PCA) and discriminant analyses (DA) of 204 workers and 58 gynes clearly showed the following synonymies (in brackets posterior probabilities of type specimens in discriminant analyses): B. meridionalis var. adriaca SANTSCHI, 1922 (p = 1.000) and B. corsicus ssp. mohelensis NOVÁK, 1941 (p = 1.000) are synonyms of B. communistus SANTSCHI, 1919 (p = 1.000) while B. meridionalis ssp. gibbus SOUDEK, 1924 (p = 0.999), B. corsicus ssp. gallicus EMERY, 1925 (p = 1.000), B. corsicus var. ligurica EMERY, 1925 (p = 1.000), and B. menozzii EMERY, 1925 (p = 1.000) are synonyms of B. corsicus SANTSCHI, 1923 (p = 1.000). The performance of the DA was unexpectedly strong: After reduction to eight morphological characters, any individual of B. communistus and B. corsicus was classified with posterior probabilities of p > 0.960 and the error rate in leave-one-out cross-validation was 0%. Furthermore, no specimen was allocated to a wrong cluster in PCA.


Data on four species of the ant genus Tapinoma FÖRSTER, 1850 are presented. Three of these maintain permanent outdoor populations in Central Europe: the autochthonous T. subboreale sp.n., T. erraticum (LATREILLE, 1798) and T. nigerrimum (NYLANDER, 1856) which is a recently established neozoon in Germany. All three species can be safely separated on the individual level both in the female castes and in males by principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant analysis (DA) of multiple morphometric characters. As the lectotype of T. ambiguum EMERY, 1925 is heterospecific from a more northern species which had been constantly named T. ambiguum during the last 34 years, it was necessary to describe the latter as T. subboreale sp.n. The earlier synonymy of T. ambiguum with T. madeirense FOREL, 1895 was confirmed on the basis of genital characters. The neotype of T. erraticum was fixed from a sample collected at the type locality. Tapinoma madeirense, known from Madeira and southern France, and T. subboreale sp.n. from Central and North Europe cannot be safely distinguished in the female castes but are clearly heterospecific concluded from male genital morphology. Workers of the four considered species show a strong allometry of some shape characters: Within the average intraspecific body-size range and given in per cent of the mean, the relative depth of posterior head excava-tion, of the metanotal groove and of the clypeal excision grow by 66.3%, 52.1% and 14.2% while relative head length falls by 13.6%. Removal of allometric variance in all shape characters and computation of these data in a PCA and a DA showed that worker morphologies of T. nigerrimum and T. erraticum differed independently from body size and, in conclusion, should also be independent from colony maturity.

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