Jun 25, 2009

Eusociality and the success of the termites: insights from a supertree of dictyopteran families

Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Robert B DavisPeter J Mayhew

Abstract

Sociality in insects may negatively impact on species richness. We tested whether termites have experienced shifts in diversification rates through time. Supertree methods were used to synthesize family-level relationships within termites, cockroaches and mantids. A deep positive shift in diversification rate is found within termites, but not in the cockroaches from which they evolved. The shift is responsible for most of their extant species richness suggesting that eusociality is not necessarily detrimental to species richness, and may sometimes have a positive effect. Mechanistic studies of speciation and extinction in eusocial insects are advocated.

  • References46
  • Citations13

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Mantodea
Behavior, Animal
Likelihood Functions
Harassment, Non-Sexual
Phylogeny
Isoptera
Polyphagidae
Dictyoptera

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