Bernhard Seifert

Bernhard Seifert
Senckenberg Research Institute · Entomology in Senckenberg Museum of Natural Histoy Görlitz

About

212
Publications
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Introduction
(1) Numeric morphology-based alpha taxonomy in ants (2) Species concepts (3) Reticulate evolution and hybridization (4) Niche theory and synecology of ants

Publications

Publications (212)
Article
Full-text available
A taxonomic revision of the Palaearctic ant subgenus Coptoformica Müller, 1923 is presented based on Numeric Morphology-Based Alpha-Taxonomy (NUMOBAT). Indicated by five morphological and one morpho-ethological character, all species of the subgenus Coptoformica form a well-circumscribed group of undoubtedly monophyletic origin. Standardized morpho...
Article
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The application of demographic history modelling and inference to the study of divergence between species has become a cornerstone of speciation genomics. Speciation histories are usually reconstructed by analysing single populations from each species, assuming that the inferred population history represents the actual speciation history. However,...
Article
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Reproductive manipulation by endosymbiotic Wolbachia can cause unequal inheritance, allowing the manipulator to spread and potentially impacting evolutionary dynamics in infected hosts. Tramp and invasive species are excellent models to study the dynamics of host-Wolbachia associations because introduced populations often diverge in their microbiom...
Article
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Mating in ants often occurs on the wing during nuptial flights or on the ground when scattered female sexuals attract males by pheromones. In both scenarios, there is little opportunity for males to engage in prolonged aggressive competition or elaborate courtship displays. Male morphology is therefore adapted to locating female sexuals and mating,...
Preprint
Full-text available
The application of demographic history modeling and inference to the study of divergence between species is becoming a cornerstone of speciation genomics. The demographic history is usually reconstructed by analysing a single population from each species, assuming that the divergence history inferred between these populations represents the actual...
Article
Full-text available
• Morphometric research is being applied to a growing number and variety of organisms. Discoveries achieved via morphometric approaches are often considered highly transferable, in contrast to the tacit and idiosyncratic interpretation of discrete character states. The reliability of morphometric workflows in insect systematics has never been a sub...
Article
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Using high-resolution stereomicroscopy and exploratory data analyses, a taxonomic revision of the cryptic species close to Plagiolepis schmitzii Forel, 1895, called Pl. schmitzii group, was conducted. Morphology was numerically recorded under highly standardised conditions considering absolute size and 16 shape, pubescence and surface characters. A...
Article
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The Gene and Gene Expression (GAGE) species concept, a new version of the Pragmatic Species Concept of Seifert (2014), is proposed as a concept applicable to any described recent or fossil eukaryotic organism independent from its mode of reproduction or evolutionary history. In addition to presenting the concept as such, the paper also provides pra...
Preprint
As we enter the Anthropocene, the evolutionary dynamics of species will change drastically, and as yet unpredictably, due to human activity. Already today, increases in global human traffic have resulted in the rapid spread of species to new areas, leading to the formation of geographically isolated populations. These go on to evolve in allopatry,...
Article
A worker-like female of Myrmica sabuleti (Meinert, 1861), pitfall-trapped near Jena, Germany, in late summer 2016, was infested by five postparasitic juvenile mermithids. They poked out of the ant´s gaster as a trail of seven filaments of various lengths. Apart from its swollen gaster, the ant differed from conspecifics in several morphometric para...
Article
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The first case of hybridization between the large European carpenter ants Camponotus herculeanus (Linnaeus 1758) and C. ligniperda (Latreille 1802) is demonstrated by means of exploratory and hypothesis-driven data analyses of standardized phenotypic characters. The strong signal separating the parental species allows the identification of hybrid w...
Article
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Dactylorhiza viridis is generally pollinated by Coleoptera (beetles) and Hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, bees, and ants). This orchid offers nectar at the lip base as well as in the spur. In the Dolomites, a calcareous mountain region in Italy, we found reasonable umbers of Dact. viridis, all growing in the vicinity of nests of the ant Formica (Copto...
Article
Species delimitation is fundamental for many biological studies; its importance extends from regional faunistics over behavioral research to the reconstruction of evolutionary history. However, species delimitation in the Palearctic Tetramorium caespitum species complex (formerly Tetramorium caespitum / impurum complex) has stayed ambiguous over a...
Article
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Ants were shown to be significant pollinators of two orchid species in the alpine zone of the Alps. Repeated observations from several localities confirm the ant Formica lemani as pollinator of Chamor-chis alpina whereas Formica exsecta is reported here for the first time as pollinator of Dactylorhiza viridis. These findings appear of great interes...
Article
A taxonomic revision of the Cardiocondyla nuda species group is presented based on methods of Numeric Morphology- Based Alpha-Taxonomy (NUMOBAT) and supplemented by analysis of mtDNA. A total of 258 samples with 571 worker individuals were investigated by the hierarchical and non-hierarchical exploratory data analyses NC-Ward and NC-K-Means cluster...
Article
The West and Central Mediterranean ants known for 50 years under the name Tapinoma nigerrimum (Nylander, 1856) have attracted attention because of their efficient chemical weapons, impressive supercolonies and potential to limit the spreading of the Argentine Ant Linepithema humile (Mayr, 1868). The paper shows that the T. nigerrimum complex consis...
Article
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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 rear...
Book
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Wood ants play an ecologically dominant and conspicuous role in temperate boreal forests, making a keystone contribution to woodland ecosystem functions and processes. Wood ant taxonomy and global distributions set the scene for this text’s exploration of wood ants as social insects, examining their flexible social structures, genetics, population...
Chapter
Few insects in the cool temperate northern hemisphere are as conspicuous as red wood ants. Most red wood ants build large and enduring nest mounds reaching more than 2 m in height, penetrating considerably further beneath the ground surface and thatched on top with a layer of plant material. These mounds are marvels of engineering with a complex ar...
Article
Wingless males of the ant genus Cardiocondyla exhibit a remarkable range of intrasexual competition, from mutual tolerance among males in the colonies of some species to regular lethal fighting in the nests of others. Here, we describe male-male antagonism in Cardiocondyla thoracica (Smith, 1859) from Northern Australia. Males appear to widely igno...
Article
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Application of Numeric Morphology-Based Alpha-Taxonomy (NUMOBAT) demonstrated the existence of three cryptic species within the Westpalaearctic Lasius paralienus species complex: L. paralienus Seifert, 1992, having a wider European distribution north to Sweden, L. casevitzi sp. nov., an endemic of Corsica, and Lasius bombycina sp. nov. from southea...
Article
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The small formicoxenine ant Temnothorax saxonicus was known from about 40 localities in Central Europe nesting in anorganic substrates on floor of xerothermous forests whereas investigations of 198 tree canopies in 19 forest sites of the same region provided no indication for arboreal nesting or foraging. We present the first evidence for canopy-ne...
Article
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In a recent issue of Systematic Entomology, Ward et al. (2015) presented a new variant of the phylogeny of the huge and extremely diverse ant clade Myrmicinae. Their paper is a valuable contribution to understand the formation of major phylogenetic clades against a credibly evaluated time scale. The intention of our opinion paper is not to criticiz...
Article
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In the summer of 2014, a highly supercolonial Tapinoma was discovered in Ostend, Belgium. This was the first time a Tapinoma species with an invasive behaviour was discovered outdoors in Belgium. The ant belongs to the most widely distributed of four recognized species of the Tapinoma nigerrimum complex and is the only known species being invasive...
Article
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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 show...
Article
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The paper integrates two independent studies of numeric morphology-based alpha-taxonomy of the cryptic ant species Temnothoraxcrassispinus (Karavajev, 1926) and Temnothoraxcrasecundus sp. n. conducted by different investigators, using different equipment, considering different character combinations and evaluating different samples. Samples investi...
Article
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A small minority of the presently recognized ∼12,500 species of ants are slave-makers, which permanently depend on the help of “slave workers,” that is workers of other ant species, which they pillage as brood from their nests in well-organized slave raids. The genus Myrmoxenus is one of the most species-rich taxa of slave-making ants, but individu...
Article
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Es wird gezeigt, dass die westmediterranen kryptischen Ameisenarten Temnothorax luteus (Forel, 1874) und T. racovitzai (Bondroit, 1918) mittels explorativer und hypothesengetriebener Analysen komplexer morphologischer Datensätze eindeutig unterscheidbar sind. Die Untersuchung konzentrierte sich auf das sympatrische Areal beider Arten. An 178 Arbeit...
Article
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A new species of the ant genus Temnothorax Forel, 1890 – Temnothorax pilagens sp. n. is described from eastern North America. T. pilagens sp. n. is an obligate slave-making ant with two known hosts: T. longispinosus (Roger, 1863) and T. ambiguus (Emery, 1895). A differential diagnosis against Temnothorax duloticus (Wesson, 1937), the other dulotic...
Article
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...
Article
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AbstractA new species of the ant genus Cardiocondyla Emery, 1869 – Cardiocondyla pirata sp. n. – is described from the Philippines. The species belongs to an Indo-Malayan group of six species that is characterized by workers having a strongly bilobate postpetiolar sternite and a thickset mesosoma with strongly convex dorsal profile as well as wingl...
Article
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In this paper we provide insight into the cryptic diversity and biogeographic patterns of a widely distributed Mediterranean ant species, Temnothorax lichtensteini (Bondroit Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 87:1–174, 1918), based on evidence from multiple data sources. An exploratory analysis of morphometric data, combined with sequenc...
Article
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Hybridization has many and varied impacts on the process of speciation. Hybridization may slow or reverse differentiation by allowing gene flow and recombination. It may accelerate speciation via adaptive introgression or cause near-instantaneous speciation by allopolyploidization. It may have multiple effects at different stages and in different s...
Article
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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....
Article
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A case of hybridization between Myrmica scabrinodis NYLANDER, 1846 and M. vandeli BONDROIT, 1920 is demonstrated by means of geometric morphometrics in a nest sample found in Baden-Württemberg / Germany. 41 landmarks and 252 semilandmarks were fixed in four anatomical aspects in 299 worker ants - dorsal head, frontodorsal clypeus, dorsal mesosoma a...
Article
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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, 18...
Article
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Ants of genus Formica demonstrate variation in social organization and represent model species for ecological, behavioral, evolutionary studies and testing theoretical implications of the kin selection theory. Subgeneric division of the Formica ants based on morphology has been questioned and remained unclear after an allozyme study on genetic diff...
Article
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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...
Article
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The Mediterranean harvester ant species Messor minor, M. cf. wasmanni, and M. capitatus can co-occur in the same habitat. In Italian populations, we encountered colonies that contained workers from more than one species as identified via standard morphology, as well as colonies with workers that appeared to be morphologically intermediate between s...
Article
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Temnothorax turcicus has been considered in literature only two times: In the original description for Izmir (Turkey) and recently for Slovakia. A new record for the Pannonian zone in Austria (Bisamberg, Lower Austria, 48°19´ N, 16°21´ E, 305 m NN) is presented. A gyne and three nests were discovered in dead wood (Sorbus aria, Robinia pseudoacacia)...
Article
Ants of the myrmicine Tetramorium caespitum (Linnaeus, 1758)/T. impurum (Foerster, 1850) complex have challenged taxonomy for long. Schlick-Steiner et al. (2006) made plausible that there are at least seven instead of two species to the complex in the Western Palearctic. Using an increased sample size for increased robustness of the system, we here...
Article
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Combined genetic and morphological data indicate frequent hybridisation between the wood ants Formica polyctena Förster 1850 and F. rufa Linnaeus 1761 in Central Europe. The genetic and morphological traits give a concordant picture of hybridisation with a strong correlation between the genotypic admixture proportions at 19 microsatellite loci and...
Article
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The ant genus Cardiocondyla is characterized by a peculiar male polymorphism with winged disperser males and wingless fighter males. Here, we report on the morphology and fighting behaviour of the hitherto unknown wingless male of Cardiocondyla nigrocerea, a species as yet known only from the Moluccan islands Ambon and Obi. Males of C. nigrocerea h...
Article
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Hybridization in isolated populations can lead either to hybrid breakdown and extinction or in some cases to speciation. The basis of hybrid breakdown lies in genetic incompatibilities between diverged genomes. In social Hymenoptera, the consequences of hybridization can differ from those in other animals because of haplodiploidy and sociality. Sel...
Article
1. The syndrome of intranidal mating, morpho-ethological gyne polymorphism, and polygyny is found in less than 5% of European ant species, but is considered as an important precondition for sympatric and parapatric speciation. 2. This idea is discussed in three cases that represent example of evolution below the species level: (1) the polygynous—po...
Article
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Because of their beneficial impact on forest ecosystems, European red wood ants (Formica rufa group) are protected by law in many European countries and are considered to be among the most reliable bioindicators of forest stability. However, their taxonomy has been much debated and, unfortunately, it is too often neglected. This happens mainly be-c...
Article
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The inquiline ant Myrmica myrmicoxena FOREL, 1895 had not been found since itsfirst discovery from the Alp Anzeindaz (Switzerland) in 1869. Two new sites have been discovered in Switzerland (Eggishorn, Fiesch, 2,213 m a.s.l.) in 2009 and Northern Italy (Laas, South Tyrol, 1,700 m a.s.l.) in 2006. The species inhabits subalpine, short-turfedgrasslan...
Article
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The members of the West to Central Asian Formica subpilosa group were investigated by means of numeric morphology-based alpha-taxonomy (NUMOBAT). 18 phenotypic characters were described on the basis of 201 nest samples com-prising 591 worker individuals. Five morphospecies were distinguished: Formica subpilosa RUZSKY, 1902, F. litoralis KUZNETZOV-U...
Article
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 comple...
Article
Full-text available
The Palaearctic members of the Formica rufibarbis FABRICIUS, 1793 group were investigated by means of numeric morphology-based alpha-taxonomy (NUMOBAT). 496 nest samples comprising 1753 worker individuals were ana-lysed in eighteen phenotypic characters and a further 330 samples for only ten characters. Nine morphospecies and one subspecies were re...
Article
Full-text available
Cryptic species are a major challenge for alpha-taxonomy in ants. Their reliable identification requires the application of elaborate methods such as Numeric Morphology-Based Alpha-Taxonomy or analysis of dna and cuticular hydrocarbons. Complications caused by intraspecific polymorphism and interspecific hybridisation necessitate integrating these...
Data
The microsatellite consensus tree of Fig. 2A, including population information and bootstrap values >50% for all except terminal nodes. For population identification see Fig. S1 and table S1. (1.16 MB TIF)
Data
Distribution maps including population numbers for L. neglectus (N1-18) and L. turcicus (T1-25; see also Fig. 1 and table S1). (2.33 MB TIF)
Data
Ant Sampling and Identification of Populations (0.03 MB DOC)
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Behavioral Observations (0.03 MB DOC)
Data
List of cuticular hydrocarbon compounds and their mean proportional peak areas in the three profile types (coded as white, grey or black squares in Fig. 2A) (0.09 MB DOC)
Data
Neighbor Joining (NJ) tree of CO1-haplotypes with bootstrap values (above the branch; see Fig. 2A) and additional posterior probabilities (Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo; below the branch in italics) for all except terminal nodes. For each sample, population ID (see Fig. S1 and table S1), nest identification number (in brackets), as well as GenB...
Data
Chemical Analysis of Cuticular Hydrocarbons (0.04 MB DOC)