Alessandro Minelli

Alessandro Minelli
University of Padova | UNIPD · Department of Biology

Professor

About

402
Publications
164,562
Reads
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8,338
Citations
Citations since 2016
59 Research Items
3359 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600

Publications

Publications (402)
Article
A new species of the widely distributed centipede genus Scolopocryptops Newport, 1845 is described from Trinidad based on light microscopic documentation. Scolopocryptops sukuyan n. sp. is remarkable for being the only centipede known to have 25 leg-bearing segments in the trunk. The new species resembles Scolocryptops melanostoma Newport, 1845 in...
Article
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Irrespective of the heuristic value of interpretations of developmental processes in terms of gene regulatory networks (GRNs), larger-angle views often suffer from: (i) an inadequate understanding of the relationship between genotype and phenotype; (ii) a predominantly zoocentric vision; and (iii) overconfidence in a putatively hierarchical organiz...
Article
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In Italy, differently from other countries, a national museum of natural history is not present. This absence is due, among the other reasons, to its historical political fragmentation up to 1870, which led to the establishment of medium-sized museums, mostly managed by local administrations or universities. Moreover, a change of paradigm in biolog...
Article
Variability in segment numbers in the world’s most-leggy millipede adds support to a multiplicative mode of segment generation in myriapods.
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Contrasting definitions of organs based either on function or on strictly morphological criteria are the legacy of a tradition starting with Aristotle. This floating characterization of organs in terms of both form and function extends also to organ systems. The first section of this review outlines the notions of organ and body part as defined, ex...
Chapter
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Beyond their role in visualizing the diversity of living forms, illustrations have been used to depict generalized or idealized models, e. g. Owen’s archetype of the vertebrate skeleton and Turpin’s Urpflanze. Later, pictorial representations were used to illustrate groundplans of monophyletic lineages or as summaries of invariant features, as in B...
Book
Developmental biology is seemingly well understood, with development widely accepted as being a series of programmed changes through which an egg turns into an adult organism, or a seed matures into a plant. However, the picture is much more complex than that: is it all genetically controlled or does environment have an influence? Is the final adul...
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Gynandromorphs, i.e., individuals with a mix of male and female traits, are common in the wild bees of the genus Megachile (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). We described new transverse gynandromorphs in Megachile pilidens Alfkeen, 1924 and analyze the spatial distribution of body parts with male vs. female phenotype hitherto recorded in the transverse gynand...
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Chapter
The contribution of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) to phylogenetics has two aspects. The first is methodological: how to partition the phenotype into independent characters, in the light of the evolvability and modularity of developing systems. Evolvability, the ability to produce heritable phenotypic variation, has taken central rol...
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In many arthropods, the appearance of new segments and their differentiation are not completed by the end of embryogenesis but continue, in different form and degree, well after hatching, in some cases up to the last post-embryonic molt. Focusing on the segmentation process currently described as post-embryonic segment addition (or, anamorphosis),...
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The general problem around which this Special Issue revolves is that the way in which science is organized into specialties can have negative consequences on the progress of knowledge [...]
Chapter
A code is a set of arbitrary rules that create a functional bridge between two sets of objects (see pattern, structure/structuralism).
Chapter
Investigation on the principles of form has originally developed in search of immanent (preformism) or supervening (epigenesis) first generative principles or of properties that could be generalized at least within large sections of the living world. A different approach to morphology, from the perspective of Darwinian evolutionary biology, has bro...
Chapter
Comparisons between early developmental stages of “more advanced” animals and adult forms of “less advanced” ones were suggested by XIX century authors and eventually codified by Haeckel (1866) in the so-called biogenetic law (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny). However, according to modern developmental biology, the best conserved stage, potentiall...
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In order to maximize the utility of future studies of trilobite ontogeny, we propose a set of standard practices that relate to the collection, nomenclature, description, depiction, and interpretation of ontogenetic series inferred from articulated specimens belonging to individual species. In some cases, these suggestions may also apply to ontogen...
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Recent and ongoing debates in biology and in the philosophy of biology reveal widespread dissatisfaction with the current definitions or circumscriptions, which are often vague or controversial, of key concepts such as the gene, individual, species, and homology, and even of whole disciplinary fields within the life sciences. To some extent, the lo...
Chapter
Diversity of life (also called biological diversity or biodiversity) is the variety of living systems. It may refer to extant organisms but also to their diversity in the past. It is usually meant to encompass multiple levels of biological systems, from the gene level, through the level of populations and species, up to the communities of organisms...
Chapter
A biological classification is a hierarchical arrangement of species, subspecific units and higher taxa, with the corresponding scientific nomenclature; classification is also the part of systematic biology concerned with generating such an arrangement. Scientific classifications have ancient roots in folk taxonomies. Between the classical Antiquit...
Article
The plesiomorphic antenna with eleven articles is stunningly stable across the over 400.000 beetle species, despite the astonishing diversity of morphologies and ecological settings in which these organisms live. However, a few beetle lineages evolved different antennomere numbers, and these offer an interesting opportunity to understand how an oth...
Article
What we accept as the units to be classified is not just an expression of our current aims and practices but will also impact further classificatory research. The launch of Megataxa invites a dispassionate discussion about the units to be classified and the names associated to them. Specifically, we must address three challenges.—Challenge 1. Livin...
Book
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In biology, interest in form was the prerogative of developmental biology, while it was practically neglected by evolutionary biology. This situation has changed a lot in recent decades and has led to a reinterpretation of the concept of evolution and evolutionism focusing more on the problem of form and morphology. In Italy, especially Alessandro...
Chapter
None of the concepts thus far advanced by biologists or philosophers of life covers in a satisfactory way all instances and aspects of biological individuality. Two main, only partially overlapping notions must be distinguished: physiological individuality, based on morphological or molecular attributes, and evolutionary individuality, based on the...
Article
More than one hundred nomina with typus as the specific epithet were introduced between 1810 and 1999. These nomina are discussed in respect to the different notions of typicality—morphological, taxonomic and nomenclatural—that may have motivated the use of this epithet by different authors in different times and the significance of these epithets...
Book
Cambridge Core - Plant Sciences - The Biology of Reproduction - by Giuseppe Fusco
Article
Contrary to the traditional claim that needs for unambiguous communication about animal and plant species are best served by a single set of names (Linnaean nomenclature) ruled by international Codes, I suggest that a more diversified system is required, especially to cope with problems emerging from aggregation of biodiversity data in large databa...
Chapter
A key problem in conservation biology is how to measure biological diversity. Taxic diversity (the number of species in a community or in a local biota) is not necessarily the most important aspect, if what most matters is to evaluate how the loss of the different species may impact on the future of the surviving species and communities. Alternativ...
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To explain the amazing morphological and biomechanical analogy between two distantly related vertebrates as are a dolphin and a shark, an explanation exclusively framed in terms of adaptation (i.e., in terms of the Darwinian survival of the fittest) is far from satisfactory. The same is true, of course, of any other comparison between structurally...
Article
Small arthropods are not simply scaled-down versions of their larger closest relatives, as changes in morphology and functional characters are largely governed by scaling laws. These same scaling laws set strict limits to size change toward smaller sizes. The evolution of extreme miniaturized forms involves the breaking of these constraints, by mea...
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The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) commits its 196 nation parties to conserve biological diversity, use its components sustainably, and share fairly and equitably the benefits from the utilization of genetic resources. The last of these objectives was further codified in the Convention's Nagoya Protocol (NP), which came into effect in 201...
Book
Compared to animals, plants have been largely neglected in evolutionary developmental biology. Mainstream research has focused on developmental genetics, while a rich body of knowledge in comparative morphology is still to be exploited. No integrated account is available. In this volume, Minelli fills this gap using the same approach he gave to ani...
Article
This study analyzes shells of marine gastropods of a zoological museum and the Latin epithets express-ing perceptual and connotative attributes that they have received in the standard, Linnaean nomenclature. Making use of the Osgood semantic differential, we presented the subjects with digital 3-D reproductions of the shell speci-mens to be subjecti...
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The basic mechanism by which the antennal flagellum is subdivided into flagellomeres is probably the same in all insects, irrespective of whether the process occurs in the embryo, in the eye/antenna imaginal disc, or through a series of post-embryonic increments punctuated by moults. The ultimate origin of (all?) flagellomeres is the first antennom...
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Irrespective of the selective advantage deriving from similar color pattern, the evolution of Batesian (and Müllerian) mimicry between distantly related insects groups has been perhaps facilitated by the availability to both models and mimics of similar pattern units more likely to be expressed, and to be modified in parallel ways, due to shared de...
Article
Intentional departures from Linnaean nomenclature are common, and are due to different causes, including deliberate refusal to obey a specific rule of the Code, full rejection of Linnaean nomenclature in favour of an alternative system, use of formulae for special kinds of organisms and especially the use of informal names, or formulae, for kinds o...
Chapter
No universally accepted notion of evolvability is available, focus being alternatively put onto either genetic or phenotypic change. The heuristic power of this concept is best found when considering the intricacies of the genotype?phenotype map, which is not necessarily predictable, expression of variation depending on the structure of gene networ...
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Endogeophilus ichnusae gen. et sp. nov. (Chilopoda: Geophilidae sensu stricto) is described based on three specimens from two localities in south-western Sardinia, examined by light and scanning electron microscopy. The new centipede resembles the rare Ibero-Pyrenean genus Galliophilus Ribaut & Brolemann, 1927 in some features, especially in the fo...
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Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives suc...
Article
One century and half after the publication of Darwin's Origin, Owen's notion of homology, which "implies that two organs or features under comparison can be recognized as "the same" continues to dominate current approaches to the problem of homology. Eventually, the idea that characters can "remain themselves" throughout an indefinite although obvi...
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Because of their sessile lifestyle and the lack of the sensory and feeding structures usually associated with the cephalic end, fixing the antero-posterior (AP) polarity of tapeworms is somewhat equivocal and has been a matter of century-long debates. Koziol et al. offer the first molecular evidence finally fixing the scolex as the animal’s anterio...
Chapter
Is it possible, and in the first place is it even desirable, to define what “development” means and to determine the scope of the field called “developmental biology”? Though these questions appeared crucial for the founders of “developmental biology” in the 1950s, there seems to be no consensus today about the need to address them. Here, in a comb...
Chapter
The contribution of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) to phylogenetics has two aspects. The first is methodological: how to partition the phenotype into independent characters, in the light of the evolvability and modularity of developing systems. Evolvability, the ability to produce heritable phenotypic variation, has taken central rol...
Article
Salmacina. Una storia di mare e d’amore
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Scutigera cacahuamilpensis is designated as junior synonym of Dendrothereua linceci based on his habitat and distribution record
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Background: Reliable taxonomy underpins communication in all of biology, not least nature conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem resources. The flexibility of taxonomic interpretations, however, presents a serious challenge for end-users of taxonomic concepts. Users need standardised and continuously harmonised taxonomic reference systems,...
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The centipedes of the clade Epimorpha change slightly during post-embryonic growth but there is huge variation between species in the maximum body size. New specimens of the rarely collected Neotropical genus Dinogeophilus provide further evidence that this genus comprises the smallest species of the Epimorpha, with a recorded maximum length of 5.5...
Article
Full-text available
The centipedes of the clade Epimorpha change slightly during post-embryonic growth but there is huge variation between species in the maximum body size. New specimens of the rarely collected Neotropical genus Dinogeophilus provide further evidence that this genus comprises the smallest species of the Epimorpha, with a recorded maximum length of 5.5...
Article
Background: Two indicators of a clade's success are its diversity (number of included species) and its disparity (extent of morphospace occupied by its members). Many large genera show high diversity with low disparity, while others such as Euphorbia and Drosophila are highly diverse but also exhibit high disparity. The largest genera are often ch...
Article
According to the evolutionary theory, biodiversity is the product of change. However, biodiversity exists also because there are rules against an uncontrolled mixing of individuals or species that would create monsters such as the mythical chimera or the hybrids between lion and tiger. Unease in front of them is not necessarily proportional to the...
Article
The forms of all extant animals and plants agree with a small number of main architectural schemes emerged through the history of life, which function as largely invariant patterns of body syntax. To a considerable extent, these ‘rules of forms’ are obeyed by the products of imagination developed in myth and represented in art, such as chimeras, ce...
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Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) suggests a distinction between modular and systemic variation. In the case of modular change, the conservation of the overall structure helps recognizing affinities, while a single, fast evolving module is likely to produce a bonanza for the taxonomist, while systemic changes produce strongly deviating...
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Variation in animal body size is the result of a complex interplay between variation in cell number and cell size, but the latter has seldom been considered in wide-ranging comparative studies, although distinct patterns of variation have been described in the evolution of different lineages. We investigated the correlation between epidermal cell s...
Article
Centipedes are a very old lineage of terrestrial animals. The first completely sequenced myriapod genome reveals that the blind centipede Strigamia maritima has no gene for light-sensory proteins, lacks the canonical circadian clock and possesses unusual features related to chemosensory perception. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved...
Article
The purpose of this application, under Article 23.9.3 of the Code, is to conserve the specific name Geophilus alpinus Meinert, 1870 for a widespread European species of geophilomorph centipedes. This name, currently in use, is threatened by the subjective synonyms Geophilus impressus C.L. Koch, 1847 and Geophilus palustris C.L. Koch, 1863, which ha...
Chapter
Morphological misfits can be defined as a miscellaneous class of numerically marginal, often lately discovered taxa, deviating in one or more dramatic aspects from the structural organization of their closest relatives. Morphological misfits are a widely diverse set of taxa which according to their anatomical, ontogenetic and phylogenetic nature ma...
Book
This book is divided in two parts, the first of which shows how, beyond paleontology and systematics, macroevolutionary theories apply key insights from ecology and biogeography, developmental biology, biophysics, molecular phylogenetics, and even the sociocultural sciences to explain evolution in deep time. In the second part, the phenomenon of ma...
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You call attention to the crisis in Italy’s natural history museums — in funding, personnel and administration, as well as in their visibility, research and purpose (Nature 515, 311–312; 2014). There is a way to prevent the long-term management of these scientific collections from deteriorating into an elitist hobby. The Italian education and herit...
Chapter
Despite Steinböck’s (1963, p. 49) dismissive statement that “ontogeny has only a very limited value for phylogenetic questions,” successful attempts to infer phylogenetic relationships from comparative information about the developmental schedules of animal species are numerous, beginning with two well-known, eighteenth-century examples. One is Tho...
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The Italian natural history museums are facing a critical situation, due to the progressive loss of scientific relevance, decreasing economic investments, and scarcity of personnel. This is extremely alarming, especially for ensuring the long-term preservation of the precious collections they host. Moreover, a commitment in fieldwork to increase sc...
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Fauna Europaea provides a public web-service with an index of scientific names (including important synonyms) of all living European land and freshwater animals, their geographical distribution at country level (up to the Urals, excluding the Caucasus region), and some additional information. The Fauna Europaea project covers about 230,000 taxonomi...
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We highlight some important conceptual issues that biologists should take into account when teaching evolutionary biology or communicating it to the public. We first present conclusions from conceptual development research on how particular human intuitions, namely design teleology and psychological essentialism, influence the understanding of evol...
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ChiloKey is a matrix-based, interactive key to all 179 species of Geophilomorpha (Chilopoda) recorded from Europe, including species of uncertain identity and those whose morphology is known partially only. The key is intended to assist in identification of subadult and adult specimens, by means of microscopy and simple dissection techniques whenev...
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Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) is a rapidly growing discipline whose ambition is to address questions that are of relevance to both evolutionary biology and developmental biology. This field has been increasingly progressing as a new and independent comparative science. However, we argue that evo-devo's comparative approach is challe...
Article
Sexual patches are abdominal areas identifiable by modified setation, present in the males of several groups of Tachinidae (Diptera). We comparatively studied more than 40 species belonging to 24 genera representative of subfamilies known to bear these organs, using light microscopy and scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy. We...
Article
http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/31/biosci.biu040.extract
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BioMed Central is a Science, Technology and Medical publisher of online, open access journals. We have always endeavoured to ensure that our journals adhere to the norms of the research communities we serve (Knapp et al ., 2011; Krell 2012; Sands & Moylan 2012). We were therefore somewhat bewildered by the tone of the piece from Dubois et al. (2013...
Article
An annotated list is provided for the genera and species of Chilopoda Geophilomorpha recorded from Europe, including Macaronesia. The list derives from a critical evaluation of all published information. All synonyms are also listed and all taxonomic and nomenclatorial novelties are discussed. Additionally, all available genus-group and species-gro...
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The mitotic chromosomes of ten centipede species are described and illustrated. Seven of them, i.e. Lithobius validus (♂, ♀ 2n = 54), L. tricuspis (♀ 2n = 50), L. dentatus (♀ 2n = 46), L. pilicornis (♀ 2n = 42), Eupolybothrus tridentinus (♂ 2n = 38, ♀ 2n = 39?), Eu. grossipes (♀ 2n = 27?, ♀ 2n = 28) and Eu. nudicornis (♂ 2n = 44), had never been pr...