Brendon E Boudinot

Brendon E Boudinot
Friedrich Schiller University Jena | FSU · Institute of Zoology and Evolutionary Research

Ph. D.

About

58
Publications
26,170
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489
Citations
Introduction
My research interests are evolution and ecology approached from the perspective of systematics. I integrate morphological and molecular phylogenetics, paleontology, traditional comparative morphology, and contemporary anatomical technology to answer historical evolutionary questions. I specialize on the skeletomusculature system of the male genitalia of the Hexapoda and the classification of the Formicoidea.
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
University of California, Davis
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Supervised by Phil Ward.
January 2014 - June 2021
University of California, Davis
Position
  • Research Assistant
July 2012 - August 2013
University of Utah
Position
  • Scientific Technician

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
Full-text available
Abstract. The diagnosis of the Formicidae is revised, including five new, unreversed apomorphies, of which one is a unique synapomorphy. The first global male-based key to all subfamilies is provided and illustrated, and all ant subfamilies are diagnosed for males on a global scale for the first time. three lineages of " basal ants " are assessed i...
Article
Full-text available
No consensus exists for the homology and terminology of the male genitalia of the Hexapoda despite over a century of debate. Based on dissections and the literature, genital skeletomusculature was compared across the Hexapoda and contrasted with the Remipedia, the closest pancrustacean outgroup. The pattern of origin and insertion for extrinsic and...
Article
Within the Formicidae, the higher classification of nearly all subfamilies has been recently revised given the findings of molecular phylogenetics. Here, we integrate morphology and molecular data to holistically address the evolution, classification, and identification of the ant genus Lasius, its tribe Lasiini, and their subfamily Formicinae. We...
Article
Full-text available
It is generally assumed that Cretaceous stem ants were obligately eusocial, because of the presence of wingless adult females, yet the available evidence is ambiguous. Here, we report the syninclusion of a pupa and adult of a stem ant species from Mid-Cretaceous amber. As brood are immobile, the pupa was likely to have been transported by an adult....
Preprint
Full-text available
Fossils provide unique opportunity to understand the tempo and mode of evolution and are essential for modeling the history of lineage diversification. Here, we interrogate the Mesozoic fossil record of the Aculeata, with emphasis on the ants (Formicidae), and conduct an extended series of ancestral state estimation exercises on distributions of ti...
Article
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Fossils are critical for understanding the evolutionary diversification, turnover, and morphological disparification of extant lineages. While fossils cannot be sequenced, phenome-scale data may be generated using micro-computed tomography ( -CT), thus revealing hidden structures and internal anatomy, when preserved. Here, we adduce the male caste...
Article
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The Coleoptera provides an excellent example of the value of fossils for understanding the evolutionary patterns of recent lineages. We reevaluate the morphology of the Early Perm-ian †Tshekardocoleidae to test alternative phylogenetic hypotheses relating to the Palaeozoic evolution of the order. We discuss prior interpretations and revise an earli...
Article
The Early Miocene (16–23 Mya) amber of Ethiopia constitutes a new source of fossil ants for Africa, where they are otherwise poorly documented. Here we report a diversified assemblage of six subfamilies and at least 19 genera that are still predominantly alive in the Afrotropics today. In this first account, a particular reference is made to the su...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies of insect anatomy evince a trend towards a comprehensive and integrative investigation of individual traits and their evolutionary relationships. The abdomen of ants, however, remains critically understudied. To address this shortcoming, we describe the abdominal anatomy of Amblyopone australis Erichson, using a multimodal approach c...
Article
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The mesosoma is the power core of the ant, containing critical structural and muscular elements for the movement of the head, legs, and metasoma. It has been hypothesized that adaptation to ground locomotion and the loss of flight led to the substantial rearrangements in the mesosoma in worker ants and that it is likely the ant mesosoma has undergo...
Preprint
Full-text available
The spectacular radiation of insects has produced a stunning diversity of phenotypes. During the last 250 years, research on insect systematics has generated hundreds of terms for naming and comparing those phenotypes. In its current form, this terminological diversity is presented in natural language and lacks formalization, which prohibits comput...
Article
Full-text available
Tardigrades are a diverse group of charismatic microscopic invertebrates that are best known for their ability to survive extreme conditions. Despite their long evolutionary history and global distribution in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, the tardigrade fossil record is exceedingly sparse. Molecular clocks estimate that tardigrades div...
Article
Full-text available
Ants are highly polyphenic Hymenoptera, with at least three distinct adult forms in the vast majority of species. Their sexual dimorphism, however, is overlooked to the point of being a nearly forgotten phenomenon. Using a multi-modal approach, we interrogate the near total head micro-anatomy of the male of Dorylus helvolus, the “sausagefly”, and c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Within the Formicidae, the higher classification of nearly all subfamilies has been recently revised due to the findings of molecular phylogenetics. Here, we integrate morphology and molecular data to holistically address the evolution and classification of the ant genus Lasius , its tribe Lasiini, and their subfamily Formicinae. We accomplish this...
Article
Full-text available
Camponotus and Colobopsis are widely distributed and species-rich genera in the ant tribe Camponotini. Molecular phylogenetic studies demonstrate that they are not sister taxa, but several lineages within each genus have converged to a remarkable degree, confounding the taxonomy of these ants. Based on multiple lines of evidence, including worker a...
Article
Full-text available
The hypogaeic ant subfamilies Leptanillinae and Martialinae likely form the sister group to the remainder of the extant Formicidae. In order to increase the knowledge of anatomy and functional morphology of these unusual and phyloge-netically crucial ants, we document and describe in detail the cranium of a leptanilline, Protanilla lini Terayama, 2...
Article
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We present a revised and updated synoptic list of 44 Arabian Monomorium species, including two new species of the M. salomonis species-group: M. heggyi sp. n. , and M. khalidi sp. n. We propose the following new synonyms: M. abeillei André (= M. wahibiense Collingwood & Agosti syn. n.) ; M. areniphilum Santschi (= M. fezzanense Collingwood & Agosti...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Boudinot BE, Perrichot V, Chaul JCM (2020) †Camelosphecia gen. nov., lost ant-wasp intermediates from the mid-Cretaceous (Hymenoptera, Formicoidea). Abstract Fossils provide primary material evidence for the pattern and timing of evolution. The newly discovered "beast ants" from mid-Cretaceous Burmite, †Camelosphecia gen. nov., display an...
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
Miniaturization strongly affects functional morphology. Whereas some anatomical structures are barely affected by scaling, others can fundamentally change as the body becomes ever smaller. No prior study has focused on the effect of miniaturization on grooming and attachment structures in Hymenoptera, which can be highly diverse and complex. Throug...
Article
Full-text available
Burmese amber and amber from other periods and regions became a rich source of new extinct insect species and yielded important insights in insect evolution in the dimension of time. Amber fossils have contributed to the understanding of the phylogeny, biology, and biogeography of insects and other groups, and have also gained great importance for...
Article
†Zigrasimecia Barden & Grimaldi, 2013 is easily identified among the total diversity of the Formicidae by the unique form of the mandibles, presence of an antennal scrobe, and the massive, blocky cranium. Two species from mid-Cretaceous Burmese (Myanmar) amber are currently attributed to the genus, one is a dealate gyne and the other a worker. Here...
Article
†Zigrasimecia Barden & Grimaldi, 2013 is easily identified among the total diversity of the Formicidae by the unique form of the mandibles, presence of an antennal scrobe, and the massive, blocky cranium. Two species from mid-Cretaceous Burmese (Myanmar) amber are currently attributed to the genus, one is a dealate gyne and the other a worker. Here...
Presentation
Full-text available
Ants are abundant, ecologically influential, and diverse eusocial Hymenoptera. The dominant narrative for their origin and radiation is that of E. O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler, known as the "dynastic succession hypothesis". Wilson and Hölldobler contend that the crown (= extant) ants originated during the peak of the angiosperm radiation, ~110-100...
Article
Full-text available
Morphology, encompassing the study of phenotypic form and function, is one of the ancient branches of human knowledge and is foundational for organismal classification. Two decades into the current century, the specialized biological knowledge of the history and pattern of evolution has been revolutionized by genome-scale sequencing technologies, a...
Article
The Rhopalosomatidae is a clade of parasitoid aculeates which consists of four extant genera and two extinct species. Its phylogenetic position has been debated, but now appears stable as sister to the Vespidae, a clade which contains eusocial wasps. Here, we describe a new species of Rhopalosomatidae from mid-Cretaceous burmite, †Eorhopalosoma loh...
Article
Structural features and life habits of described species of the extinct †Alienoptera are evaluated based on previously published studies on the group. Head structures and feedings habits are addressed, as are the locomotor organs, especially the wings and adhesive devices. Suggested pollen feeding habits and the possible role as pollinators are dis...
Conference Paper
No consensus exists for the homology and terminology of the male genitalia of the Hexapoda despite widespread acknowledgment of systematic value and well over a century of debate. Based on dissections and the literature, I compared genital skeletomusculature across the Hexapoda in contrast with the Remipedia, the closest pancrustacean outgroup. I f...
Chapter
La morfología es la base fundamental sobre la cual se desarrolla la taxonomía. El objetivo de este capítulo es ofrecer un glosario en español y un léxico español-inglés de más de 400 términos utilizados en los trabajos de taxonomía de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Dibujos e imágenes en microscopía electrónica de barrido y en microscopía óptic...
Chapter
This chapter includes a male-based key to the subfamilies and genera of ants occurring in Colombia. La mayor parte de la clasificación y taxonomía de hormigas está basada en la casta de obreras. Sin embargo, y a pesar del olvido centenario, los machos de estos insectos pueden ofrecer información valiosa para la delimitación de especies, la evolució...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Fossiliferous amber from Ethiopia was reported a decade ago and was considered to be early Late Cretaceous in age (Cenomanian, ca. 93–95 Ma) based on initial assignment of palynomorphs and physicochemical properties of the amber. This assumed Cretaceous age has recently been questioned, given subsequent discovery of extant genera among the arthropo...
Presentation
Full-text available
On Wednesday, February 28th, 2018, I gave the UC Davis Entomology & Nematology Department Seminar. During the first part of the chalk-talk, I outlined the natural history and biology of the big-eyed tree ants (Pseudomyrmecinae), with discussion of phenotypic data, and the current phylogenetic and evolutionary hypotheses of the group. In the second...
Article
Full-text available
The distinctive ant genus Leptomyrmex Mayr, 1862 had been thought to be endemic to Australasia for over 150 years, but enigmatic Neotropical fossils have challenged this view for decades. The present study responds to a recent and surprising discovery of extant Leptomyrmex species in Brazil with a thorough evaluation of the Dominican Republic fossi...
Presentation
This presentation summarized a small yet key set of findings from my work on genitalic skeletomuscular homologies across the Hexapoda. I have uploaded the presentation as a private file as I have copy/pasted several figures out of the literature which I am in the process of modifying for my own work. If you would like to receive a copy, please cont...
Presentation
Full-text available
This presentation addressed my thesis work on the combined analysis of morphological and molecular data, attempting to place the Cretaceous fauna in the Ant Tree of Life.
Article
Full-text available
This article is a letter to the editor of Hamuli regarding current status of morphological research. Hamuli is the newsletter of the International Society of Hymenopterists (ISH).
Presentation
Full-text available
A 15 minute presentation during the Advances in Ant Systematics symposium at the International Congress of Entomology. The talk briefly reviewed the history and current status of male ant research, with demonstrations of male utility for the fields of biogeography, alpha taxonomy, and morphological systematics. All subjects covered will be publishe...
Article
Spider ants of the genus Leptomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) are conspicuous species of Australasian rainforests, with putative fossil relatives in the Neotropics and Europe. There is longstanding debate over the biogeographical history of the genus, with the Palaearctic and Neotropical regions proposed as alternate centres o...
Article
Full-text available
The first ergatoid male for the ant genus Platythyrea is discovered and described. The male of P. sagei FOREL, 1900, in addition to being apterous, is unique among Platythyrea species for bearing elongate scapes. In the field, males of P. sagei were observed leaving and returning to a nest with workers, some with debris in their mandibles. The male...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Article
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The predatory ponerine genus Myopias has remained poorly known despite considerable interest. To encourage future revisionary and natural history research on the genus, we provide the first global key to valid species; the first male-based diagnosis; a detailed description of a new species, M. darioi sp. nov., based on all castes; a review of the n...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Lasius is a conspicuous ant genus distributed throughout northern temperate regions, comprising over 100 currently recognized species. Its members have been widely studied from ecological and evolutionary perspectives, with special interest regarding the evolution of social parasitism and the ability to culture fungi. Following rediscovery of the r...
Conference Paper
Males are a neglected and poorly understood aspect of ant biodiversity. To operationalize males for systematic, ecological, and evolutionary study, male-based keys to and diagnoses of the ant subfamilies and genera of the New World are composed for the first time. Based on a global sample of taxa, a new diagnosis of the Formicidae is presented. Mal...
Article
Full-text available
The male-based genus Tricytarus DONISTHORPE, 1947 is rediscovered and synonymized with the genus Meranoplus F. SMITH, 1853 syn.n. A neotype is designated for Meranoplus parviumgulatus (DONISTHORPE, 1947) comb.n. which is documented to occur sympatrically with the very similar species M. niger DONISTHORPE, 1949. Morphometrics and a differential diag...
Article
Full-text available
The ant genus Odontomachus Latreille in the United States is reviewed. Six species are treated: O. brunneus (Patton), O. clarus Roger, O. desertorum Wheeler stat. nov., O. relictus Deyrup and Cover, O. ruginodis M.R. Smith, and O. haematodus (Linnaeus), a new record for North America. The spread of O. haematodus is documented, and its identity is c...
Article
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Megalomyrmex Forel is a distinctive lineage of Neotropical ants, some of which are specialized parasites or predators of the fungus-growing ants Attini. Here we review and key the Central American fauna. Six new species are described from both female castes: M. brandaoi sp. n., M. fungiraptor sp. n., M. longinoi sp. n., M. milenae sp. n., M. megadr...
Article
Full-text available
The species-level taxonomy of the ant genus Meranoplus F. Smith from Madagascar is revised. Two new species, M. cryptomys sp. n. and sylvarius sp. n. are described from workers and queens; M. mayri Forel, 1910, and M. radamae Forel, 1891, are redescribed, and queens and males for these two species are described for the first time. The first diagnos...
Article
Full-text available
The ant genus Rhopalothrix is a rare inhabitant of wet forest leaf litter and soil. We propose a monophyletic R. isthmica clade that is restricted to the Neotropics, contains most of the species in the genus, and has its center of abundance and diversity in Central America. Thirteen species are recognized in the R. isthmica clade, of which eight ar...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Boudinot BE (2013) The male genitalia of ants: musculature, homology, and functional morphology (Hymenoptera, Abstract The genitalia of male ants are interpreted in the context of the broader Hymenoptera. For the first time muscle homologies are established for twenty six species of ants in nine subfamilies: Amblyoponinae, Cerapachyinae,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The genitalia of male ants are interpreted in the context of the broader Hymenoptera. For the first time, muscle homologies are established across distantly related ant subfamilies. Moreover, the homology of ant genital valves with the basal Hymenoptera is established. Fifteen muscles in total are found in the external genitalia of male ants and al...

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Projects (4)
Project
This project is an investigation of the skeletomuscular evolution of the legs of Hymenoptera, with emphasis on the Aculeata and taxa displaying aptery. The objective is to sample at least one species for all hymenopteran families, and to attain approximate subfamily-level sampling in the Aculeata. We will subject these specimens to µ-CT scanning and use the resultant data to develop biomechanical and phylogenetic-transformational models. Questions which will be addressed in this study include: Is there a single optimal conformation for leg architecture in running taxa? Is variability determined by groundplan or phylogenetic constraint? Can the diversification of certain groups be tied to such adaptations? This work is funded by an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship and will take place in Jena, Germany, under the guidance of Rolf Beutel, Hans Pohl, Thomas van de Kamp, Alex Blanke, Adrian Richter, and with the collaboration of many others.
Project
Geological, taxonomic and paleoenvironmental study of amber deposits from Africa. Currently, two amber deposits yielding organic inclusions are under study, from the Miocene of Ethiopia and the Aptian of Congo. This is part of a PhD project of Valentine Bouju (University Rennes 1).
Project
The homologies of the male genitalia of the Hexapoda are contentious, and no single system has been established. Although skeletomusculature topology has been used, it has never been compared with more than three orders of insects. In this project, part of my thesis, I have dissected specimens of most orders of the Holometabola, and synthesized the skeletomuscular literature across the Hexapoda, with reference to the closest outgroup Pancrustacea. A number of homology hypotheses are rejected, and a new overarching theory of genitalic homology is proposed. I am in the process of revising the manuscript, manuscript which has been accepted at Arthropod Structure & Development.