domingo, 28 de agosto de 2011

A geometrical approach to know the distributional pattern/structure of the neotropical species of Staphylinidae: Plochionocerus Dejean & Agrodes Nordmann.

Daniel Felipe Silva Tavera


The beetles species of the genus Plochionocerus, and Agrodes, have been recently subjected of phylogenetic and Biogeographic analysis[1][2]. The species of these genus have caracteristic large body size and metallic colorations; as a result of their systematic revision, several synonyms were detected, mainly for species of Plochionocerus, which currently comprise 18 species and Agrodes with 2 species[1]. a Track analysis of these sister taxa were implemented using the Croizat`s manual reconstruction[2]. Three generalized tracks were identified from 15 individual tracks. This track analysis provides further species supporting the primary biogeographic homology of the 3 detected generalized tracks, which correspond to 3 major biotic components. Two of the generalized tracks are in the Caribbean subregion and a third in the Amazonian subregion[3]. In order to avoid the ambiguity and the subjective factor that lies on the traditional track analysis[4], in this opportunity is implemented a geometrical approach to know the distributional pattern/structure of the species of Plochionocerus & Agrodes, and answer the question: Are the generalized tracks representing the general patterns of distribution in the neotropical species of Plochionocerus and Agrodes?.

The distributional information of 13 of 18 Plochionocerus species and the 2 species of Agrodes are considered here. 279 record were used for build the input file with the distributional data, to be used on MartiTracks[4]. 38 of these records come of GBIF(accessed through GBIF data portal, Entomology Collection,, 2 records from CENTO-UIS, the rest from the revision work of ASIAIN et al in 2007 and Herman Lee in 2001[5]. The parameters values implemented are show in the commands1.txt file(below).

Results & Discussion

From 14 original (individual) tracks, were proposed the hipotesis primary of biogeographic homology, represented by 6 generalized track(fig 1). four are in the Amazonic subregion and two are in the Caribbean subregion (1 on the mesoamerican domain and the other in the Northeast South American domain). the 4 amazonic generaliced tracks are based on the individual tracks of A. conicicollis, A. elegans, P. janthinus, P. igneus, P.fulgens, P.splendens and the 2 Caribbean generalized tracks are based on the individual tracks of P.discedens, P.simplicicollis, P.ashei, P.humeralis, P.impressipennis, P.marquezi, P.puncticeps, A. elegans. The geographical distribution of P.newtonorum and P.pronotalis does not coincide with any of the generalized tracks obtained. From my geometrical approach to know the distributional pattern of these staphylinids , the hipotesis primary of homology biogeographic shown by Asiain et al (3 general tracks), is reevaluated, considerating the six general tracks proposed above. Nine species have been recorded exclusively from South America, 2 exclusively from Central America and 4 are shared between both areas. However, these results allow corroboration of previous biogeographic hypotheses about the mesoamerican and southamerican tracks from other component of the staphylinid biota[6].

The implementation of a geometrical tool represent an unambiguous pangiogeographic approach to know the distributional pattern of these taxa.

[1] Asiain, J., J. Márquez and J. J. Morrone. 2007. Phylogenetic systematics of the genera Plochionocerus Dejean and Agrodes Nordmann (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Xantholinini).
Zootaxa 1584:1-53

[2] Asiain, J., J. Márquez and J. J. Morrone.2010. Track analysis of the species of Agrodes and Plochionocerus (Coleoptera:Staphylinidae). Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 81: 177- 181, 2010

[3] Morrone, J. J. 2006. Biogeographic areas and transition zones of Latin America and the Caribbean islands based on panbiogeographic and cladistic analyses of the entomofauna.
Annual Review of Entomology 51:467-494.

[4] Echeverría-Londoño, S. & Miranda-Esquivel, D. R.2011. MartiTracks: a geometrical approach for identifying geographical patterns of distribution. PLoS ONE, 6(4), 0018460

[5] Herman, L.2001. Catalog of the Staphylinidae (Insecta: Coleoptera). 1758 to the end of the second millennium. VI. Staphylinine Group (Part 3). Staphylininae: Staphylinini (Quediina, Staphylinina, Tanygnathinina, Xanthopygina), Xantholinini. Staphylinidae Incerta Sedis Fossils, Protactinae. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History,
265, 3021–3840.

[6] Márquez, J. and J. J. Morrone. 2003. Análisis panbiogeográfico de las especies de Heterolinus y Homalolinus (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Xantholinini). Acta Zoológica Mexicana (nueva serie) 90:15-25


sset cv 0.25
set lmin 0.5
set lmax 0.75
set maxline 1
set ci 0.8

wine mt05-win32.exe test1.dat test1.dat.kml commands1.txt

Phylogeny of Tabaninae: A critique to Abu El-Hassan et al. (2010)


Tabanidae is a Diptera famyly , which has been reconized the monophyly on basis of molecular information (Wiegmann et al. 2000; Morita, 2008). However, relationships within the family have not been resolved. Abu El-Hassan et al. (2010) based on morphological characters, perform the phylogeny of this family. They did not present a formal phylogenetic analysis, their characters are ambiguous and how to perform the analysis is not adequate. The objective of this study is to evaluate the results obtained by Abu El-Hassan et al. (2010) and compared by a phylogenetic analysis using parsimony criteria.

Materials and methods

For phylogenetic analysis were used 20 terminal taxa and 91 morphological characters recoded from the matrix proposed by Abu El-Hassan et al. (2010), all based on adult morphology. The cladistic analyses, it was implied weights search (Goloboff 1993). with differents concavity values from one to ten using TNT version 1.0 (Goloboff et al 2004). The tree search strategy was an traditional search using tree bisection reconnection randomizing the addition sequence 100 times. Then, made a tree search after jackknife 37%; and, calculated the number of initial groups (those without resampling) recovered after jackknife (Goloboff 1997). Analyzed the character distribution made with WINCLADA 1.00.08 (Nixon 2002).

Results and discussion

All characters presented by Abu El-Hassan et al. (2010) were binary characters, and many of them had ambiguous coding. Most of the characters were recoded binary characters to multistate characters as antennal scape color, antennal pedicel and antennal shaped. The most of the groups recover was implicit weight search with the concavity value of nine. Using this concavity value, we obtained 1 trees (Fit k=9= 8.533). The recovered nodes with each concavity value used are shown in figure 1.

Figure 1. Average number of recovered nodes based on repeating ten runs,
after Jackknife resampling with integer concavity values from one to ten
under implicit weights
Concavity value Average of the shared consensus nodes
1 0,5789
2 0,5789
3 0,6316
4 0,6842
5 0,6316
6 0,6316
7 0,6316
8 0,7895
9 0,8421
10 0,7895

The phylogenetic analysis support monophyly of Tabaninae, however the internal relationships are no resolved. The Atylotus genera appears as monophyletic, contrary to the results presented by Abu El-Hassan et al. (2010) , This relationship is supported by one character, upper and middle calli separated. The character distribution are shown in figure 2, Finally it is recommended to repeat the analysis by expandind the number of taxa (ingroup and outgroup) and characters, as well as review and coding characters.

Figure 2. Analyzed the character distribution made with WINCLADA 1.00.08, Jacknife 37%, k=9.


Abu El-Hassan, Gawhara M. M, Haitham B. M. Badrawy, Salwa K. Mohammad and Hassan H. Fadl (2010). Cladistic analysis of Egyptian horse flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) based on morphological data. Egypt. Acad. J. biolog. Sci., 3 (2): 51- 62.

Goloboff, P. A. (1993) Estimating character weights during tree search. Cladistics 9: 83–92.

Goloboff, P. A. (1997) Self-weighted optimization: tree searches and character state reconstructions under implied transformation cost. Cladistics 13: 225-245.

Goloboff, P. A., Farris, J. S. & Nixon, K. (2004) T. N. T:Tree Analysis Using New Technology, Version 1.0. Program and documentation, available from

Morita, S.I. 2008. A phylogeny or long-tongued horse flies(Philoliche, Diptera:Tabanidae) with the first cladistic evaluation of higher relationships within the family. Invertebrate Systematics, 22(3): 311-327.

Nixon, K. C. (2002) WinClada Version 1.008. Sofware implementation. Published by the author. Ithaca. New York. Available from



Phylogenetic relationships amongst strains of dengue virus often can show a strong structure associated with geography and temporality (Gray et al. 2011; Carvalho et al. 2009), however geography seems to be the main component in modeling these phylogenetic reconstructions. Likewise, global comparisons of lineages and their geographic location have allowed further classifications of isolates from the same serotype into new genotypes known as topotypes (Samuel and Knowles, 2001). However, due to the poor georeferencing of the isolates in public databases, sometimes to make inferences about geographic patterns is hard and doubtful because the management of country´s political division can be biogeographically inadequate and little detailed. Based on the above, the aim in this work was to assess the congruence between geographic patterns found from phylogenetic and biogeographic approaches in dengue virus type I circulating in America.


Phylogenetic analysis of 50 DENV-1 E gene sequences were assess from the Bayesian inference criterion using BEAST v1.6.2 program (Drummond & Rambaut, 2007), under a General Time Reversible model of nucleotide substitution (Rodriguez et al.,1990) with gamma-distributed rate variation and a proportion of invariable sites (GTR + G + I) were selected and two runs of 4 chains were run for ten millions of generations. Sequences were sampled in American counties, including islands in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

From the topology (maximum clade credibility tree) obtained, in the Phylogeographic analysis were identified possible genotypes according to five areas intuitively postulated on the basis of geographic information contained in each clade. The criteria used were monophyletic clades and posterior probabilities values above 0.80. Results were constrasted with the subclusters found by Carvalho et al.2010.

Finally, the geographic patterns were evaluated following the method of track compatibility by Craw (1988a, 1989a). The areas used were those postulated in this work and the biotic components of Latin America and the Caribbean compiled by Morrone (2004). under the level of large regions and provinces.


The phylogenetic relationchips from American sequences seems to be structured by geographics patterns. According with this, five areas were proposed corresponding to Pacific, Caribbean, southern South America, central América and Northern south America. These components were determined following the geographic information available to each viral isolated. Intuitively, central and Northern south America were taken as independent unities.

Figure 1. Maximum clade credibility tree in Bayesian analysis of E

gene sequences representing Latin America strains. Posterior probabilities are shown for key nodes.

Phylogeographic analysis pointed the same pattern like phylogenetic analysis, also SAN and CA were closely related. The strong geography associated structure posibbly indicates the continous viral movement between different countries and in differents directions. On the other hand, the viral exchange seems to be limited and uneven among areas, even though they are geographycally close, as with the Caribbean and Central America.

Figure 2. Phylogeographic patterns between genotypes and postulated areas in Dengue virus type 1

Tracks compatibility analysis resulted in a clique (based in regions) representing a pattern that related Mexican transition area with Neotropical Region, which is congruent with the relationship between SAN and CA areas in phylogeographic analysis. This is probably due to the magnitud of the areas which includes a higher proportion of distributions and strains that are distribuited in intermediate areas. Areas delimited as Provinces by Morrone (2004) and phylogeographic areas delimited here, do not showed compatible traks.

Figure 3. Traks compatibility analysis. a) Areas proposed in this study. Biotic components of Latin America and the Caribbean b) Provinces c) Regions.


Phylogenetic and Biogeographic analysis in dengue virus can reflect a similar geographic pattern however is necessary to know the level in which both approaches can be congruent. In this study, Central America and northern South America form a large unit that corresponds to the clique found in the track compatibility analysis, which supports the close relationship between the Mexican transition area and the Neotropical region. Obviously, the use of geopolitical units in the assessment of geographical structure in shaping the phylogenetic relationships dengue is not the most accurate and dengue virus strains behave as a large dispersive population connecting large areas in America.


Carvalho SE, Martin DP, Oliveira LM, Ribeiro BM, Nagata T (2010) Comparative analysis of American Dengue virus type 1 full-genome sequences. Virus Genes 40: 60–66.

CRAW, R. C. 1988. Continuing the synthesis between panbiogeography, p

hylogenetic systematics and geology as illustrated by empirical studies on the biogeography of New Zealand and the Cha tham Islands. Systematic Zoology 37: 291-310.

CRAW, R. C. 1989a. New Zealand biogeography: A panbiogeographic approach. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 16: 527-547

Drummond AJ & Rambaut A (2007) "BEAST: Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees." BMC Evolutionary Biology 7, 214

Gray, R. R., Pybus, O. G. and Salemi, M. (2011), Measuring the temporal structure in serially sampled phylogenies. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2011.00102.x

Morrone, Juan J. 2004. Panbiogeografía,componentes bióticos y zonas de transición. Fonte: Rev. bras. entomol;48(2):149-162

Samuel, A. R., Knowles, N. J. 2001. Foot-and-mouth disease type O viruses exhibit genetically and geographically distinct evolutionary lineages (topotypes). Journal of General Virology 74, 2281-2285.