Harald Letsch

Harald Letsch
University of Vienna | UniWien · Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research

PhD

About

147
Publications
63,778
Reads
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3,427
Citations
Citations since 2017
19 Research Items
2428 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - present
University of Vienna
Position
  • Senior Researcher
October 2011 - September 2017
University of Vienna
Position
  • Research Assistant
January 2008 - December 2010
Research Museum Alexander Koenig
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (147)
Article
Full-text available
Dragonflies and damselflies are among the earliest flying insects with extant representatives. However, unravelling details of their long evolutionary history, such as egg laying (oviposition) strategies, is impeded by unresolved phylogenetic relationships particularly in damselflies. Here we present a transcriptome-based phylogenetic reconstructio...
Article
Extant members of the ancient insect order of stoneflies exhibit a disjunct, antitropical distribution, with one major lineage exclusively occurring in the Southern Hemisphere and the other, with few exceptions, on the Northern continents. Here, we address the biogeographic distribution and phylogenetic relationships of stoneflies using a phylogene...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Acoustic communication is enabled by the evolution of specialised hearing and sound producing organs. In this study, we performed a large-scale macroevolutionary study to understand how both hearing and sound production evolved and affected diversification in the insect order Orthoptera, which includes many familiar singing insects, such as cricket...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dragonflies and damselflies, representing the insect order Odonata, are among the earliest flying insects with living (extant) representatives. However, unravelling details of their long evolutionary history, such as egg laying (oviposition) strategies, is impeded by unresolved phylogenetic relationships, an issue particularly prevalent in damselfl...
Article
Full-text available
Wallace's Line, located in the heart of the Indo‐Australian archipelago, has historically been hypothesized to strongly inhibit dispersal. Taxa crossing this barrier are confronted with different biota of Asian or Australian origin, respectively, but the extent to which these conditions have affected the evolution of the colonizing lineages remains...
Article
Full-text available
The order Coleoptera (beetles) is arguably the most speciose group of animals, but the evolutionary history of beetles, including the impacts of plant feeding (herbivory) on beetle diversification, remain poorly understood. We inferred the phylogeny of beetles using 4,818 genes for 146 species, estimated timing and rates of beetle diversification u...
Article
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Phasmatodea comprises over 3,000 extant species and stands out as one of the last remaining insect orders for which a robust, higher-level phylogenetic hypothesis is lacking. New research suggests that the extant diversity is the result of a surprisingly recent and rapid radiation that has been difficult to resolve with standard Sanger sequence dat...
Article
Full-text available
The first dated phylogeny of the weevil subfamily Cryptorhynchinae is presented within a framework of Curculionoidea. The inferred pattern and timing of weevil family relationships are generally congruent with previous studies, but our data are the first to suggest a highly supported sister‐group relationship between Attelabidae and Belidae. Our bi...
Article
Polyneoptera represents one of the major lineages of winged insects, comprising around 40,000 extant species in 10 traditional orders, including grasshoppers, roaches, and stoneflies. Many important aspects of polyneopteran evolution, such as their phylo-genetic relationships, changes in their external appearance, their habitat preferences, and soc...
Data
Table S1: Sampling ratio of all included genera of Ceutorhynchinae. Table S2: Taxon sampling including NCBI genbank accession numbers. Table S2.1: Voucher IDs of all specimens provided by the Molecular Weevil Identification project. Table S3: Host plant associations of all included ceutorhynchine weevils. Table S4A: Results of the character‐dep...
Article
Full-text available
Using molecular phylogenetic data and methods we infer divergence times and diversification patterns for the weevil subfamily Ceutorhynchinae in the context of host-plant associations and global climate over evolutionary time. We detected four major diversification shifts that correlate with both host shifts and major climate events. Ceutorhynchina...
Article
Full-text available
The 2016 International Weevil Meeting was held immediately after the International Congress of Entomology (ICE). It built on the topics and content of the 2016 ICE weevil symposium Phylogeny and Evolution of Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea): A Symposium in Honor of Dr. Guillermo "Willy" Kuschel. Beyond catalyzing research and collaboration, the...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Palaearctic butterfly genus Pseudophilotes Beuret, 1958 (Lycaenidae: Polyommatinae), that today occurs in North Africa and in Eurasia, includes ten described species with various distribution ranges, including endemics such as the Sardinian P. barbagiae. Phylogenetic relationships among these species are largely unresolved. In the pr...
Article
Host plant shifts of insects can lead to a burst of diversification driven by their arrival in a new adaptive zone. In this context, our study aims to explore timing and patterns in the evolution of the weevil tribe Apionini (Brentidae, Curculionoidea, Coleoptera), particularly in relation to affiliations with their host plants. The classification...
Article
Ecological diversification of aquatic insects has long been suspected to have been driven by differences in freshwater habitats, which can be classified into flowing (lotic) waters, and standing (lentic) waters. The contrasting characteristics of lotic and lentic freshwater systems imply different ecological constraints on their inhabitants. The ep...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The systematic position, at family level, of the enigmatic Pseudobiston pinratanai Inoue, 1994 (originally described in Geometridae), has been questioned by several entomologists. A complete lack of abdominal tympanal organs was seemingly incompatible with a position among the Geometridae, while the other morphological characters of P. pinratanai w...
Conference Paper
Ecological diversification of aquatic insects has long been suspected as a result of differences in the occupied freshwater habitat systems. These be classified into two different groups: 1) flowing (lotic) waters, like springs, small streams and rivers, and 2) standing (lentic) water bodies, like swamps, pools or lakes. The contrasting spatial and...
Article
Full-text available
Tong et al. comment on the accuracy of the dating analysis presented in our work on the phylogeny of insects and provide a reanalysis of our data. They replace log-normal priors with uniform priors and add a "roachoid" fossil as a calibration point. Although the reanalysis provides an interesting alternative viewpoint, we maintain that our choices...
Conference Paper
A common pattern frequently occurring in phylogenetic trees is unbalanced clade size, i.e. the extent to which clades in a tree tend to differ in their diversity. While this can partially be expected simply by chance, several studies in the past have shown that imbalanced phylogenies are significantly more frequent than expected by models of divers...
Article
Full-text available
Since its discovery and description, the oriental moth Pseudobiston pinratanai Inoue, 1994, could not be placed in any of the recognized families of Macroheterocera (Lepidoptera). Here, we used molecular and morphological data to infer the phylogenetic position of the species. These analyses indicate that Pseudobiston pinratanai is closely related...
Data
Table S1.Sequences from GenBank with accession numbers used in this study. All sequences from Peña et al. (2006), except CytB sequences. Table S2. List of specimens used in this study and their collection localities and dates, when available.
Article
Full-text available
The use of DNA sequence data often leads to the recognition of cryptic species within putatively well-known taxa. The opposite case, detecting less diversity than originally described, has, however, far more rarely been documented. Maniola jurtina, the Meadow Brown butterfly, occurs all over Europe, whereas all other six species in the genus Maniol...
Article
Full-text available
Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced stat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
After the description of Pseudobiston pinratanai Inoue, 1994 within the Geometridae, the family placement of this enigmatic, oriental species has been questioned by different authors. Although a complete lack of abdominal tympanal organs strongly suggested a non-geometrid taxon, the other morphological characters of P. pinratanai were initially con...
Article
The branching pattern of the diverse lower neopteran insect lineages (Polyneoptera: cockroaches, mantids, earwigs, grasshoppers, phasmids etc.) is the least resolved problem in insect systematics. Despite the accumulation of various morphological and molecular datasets, the proposed phylogenetic relationships within Polyneoptera remain unstable. In...
Article
The earliest branching event in winged insects, one of the core problems regarding early insect evolution, was addressed using characters of the head. The head is arguably one of the most complex body regions in insects and the phylogenetic information content of its features has been demonstrated. In contrast, the wings and other body parts relate...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we investigated the relationships among insect orders with a main focus on Polyneoptera (lower Neoptera: roaches, mantids, earwigs, grasshoppers, etc.), and Paraneoptera (thrips, lice, bugs in the wide sense). The relationships between and within these groups of insects are difficult to resolve because only few informative molecular...
Article
Full-text available
Failure to account for covariation patterns in helical regions of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes has the potential to misdirect the estimation of the phylogenetic signal of the data. Furthermore, the extremes of length variation among taxa, combined with regional substitution rate variation can mislead the alignment of rRNA sequences and thus distort s...
Data
Taxa list. A list of all applied sequence data with according Genbank accession numbers.
Data
Tree reconstruction results. All trees (Newick le format) provided by the DNA model setups the and mixed RNA/DNA model setups of all applied data sets.
Data
Full-text available
Tables. Tables providing the Genbank accession numbers of constraint sequences used for the RNASALSA alignment, the detailed results of the AICc test and the detailed results of the Robinson-Foulds distance measurements.
Data
Full-text available
Additional tree reconstruction results. Detailed discussion on the results of tree reconstruction of Chilopoda, Hexapoda, Anisoptera, Primates and Heterobranchia.
Article
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The use of secondary structures has been advocated to improve both the alignment and the tree reconstruction processes of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) data sets. We used simulated and empirical rRNA data to test the impact of secondary structure consideration in both steps of molecular phylogenetic analyses. A simulation approach was used to generate reali...
Article
Full-text available
Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes are probably the most frequently used data source in phylogenetic reconstruction. Individual columns of rRNA alignments are not independent as a consequence of their highly conserved secondary structures. Unless explicitly taken into account, these correlation can distort the phylogenetic signal and/or lead to gross overe...
Article
Secondary structure models of mitochondrial and nuclear (r)RNA sequences are frequently applied to aid the alignment of these molecules in phylogenetic analyses. Additionally, it is often speculated that structure variation of (r)RNA sequences might profitably be used as phylogenetic markers. The benefit of these approaches depends on the reliabili...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular phylogenies are being published increasingly and many biologists rely on the most recent topologies. However, different phylogenetic trees often contain conflicting results and contradict significant background data. Not knowing how reliable traditional knowledge is, a crucial question concerns the quality of newly produced molecular data...
Data
Taxa list. Taxa list of sampled sequences. * indicates concatenated 18S and 28S rRNA sequences from different species. For combinations of genes to construct concatenated sequences of chimeran taxa, see Table S1. ** contributed sequences in the present study (author of sequences).
Data
Bayesian support values for selected clades. List of Baysian support values (posterior probability, pP) for selected clades of the time-heterogeneous and time-homogeneous tree.
Data
Detailed flow of the analysis procedure in the software package PHASE-2.0. Options used in PHASE-2.0 are italicized above the arrows and are followed by input files. Black arrows represent general flows of the analysis procedure, green arrows show that results or parameter values after single steps were inserted or accessed in a further process. Re...
Data
Primercard of the 28S rRNA gene for pterygots. Positions of forward primers are assigned by green arrows, those of reverse primers with red arrows. When different primers with identical position were used, all primer labels are given at the single arrow for the specific position. Primers and their combinations are given in Additional file 7 and 11.
Data
Included chains to infer the time-homogeneous consensus tree. Number of chains, generations per chain, harmonic means (lnL) and 2lnB10-values included to infer the time-homogeneous consensus tree.
Data
Primercard of the 18S rRNA gene for hexapods, myriapods and crustaceans. Primers used for hexapods or myriapods are shown in the upper part, primers for crustaceans in the lower part. Positions of forward primers are marked with green arrows, those of reverse primers with red arrows. When different primers with identical position were used, all pri...
Data
Full-text available
LogDet corrected network of concatenated 18S and 28S rRNA alignment. LogDet corrected network plus invariant site models (30.79% invariant sites) using SplitsTree4 based on the concatenated 18S and 28S rRNA alignment after exclusion of randomly similar sections evaluated with ALISCORE.
Data
List of chimeran species for concatenated 18S and 28S rRNA sequences
Data
Full-text available
Primercard of the 28S rRNA gene for crustaceans, hexapods and myriapods. Positions of forward primers are tagged with green arrows, those of reverse primers with red arrows. When different primers with identical position were used, all primer labels are given at the single arrow for the specific position. Primers and their combinations are given in...
Data
Full-text available
Supplementary Information. Supplementary information for lab work (amplificaion, purification and sequencing of PCR products).
Data
Setting of exchangeability parameters used in pre-runs. Listed settings of exchangeability parameters used in pre-runs in PHASE-2.0.
Data
Included chains to infer the time-heterogeneous consensus tree. Number of chains, generations per chain, harmonic means (lnL) and 2lnB10-values included to infer the time-heterogeneous consensus tree.
Article
Full-text available
Whenever different data sets arrive at conflicting phylogenetic hypotheses, only testable causal explanations of sources of errors in at least one of the data sets allow us to critically choose among the conflicting hypotheses of relationships. The large (28S) and small (18S) subunit rRNAs are among the most popular markers for studies of deep phyl...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Background Whenever different data sets arrive at conflicting phylogenetic hypotheses, only testable causal explanations of sources of errors in at least one of the data sets allow us to critically choose among the conflicting hypotheses of relationships. The large (28S) and small (18S) subunit rRNAs are among the most popular markers fo...