My Research

Male Reproductive System
Hymenoptera. Vespina. Vespida. Bees, ants, sawflies, horntails and other wasps. Male reproductive system. Male genitalia of Hymenoptera. Symphyta. Phylogenetic systematics of Hymenoptera. Phylogenetic systematics of Symphyta. Xyeloidea, Tenthredinoidea, Pamphilioidea, Cephoidea, Siricoidea, Xiphydrioidea, Orussoidea. Xyelidae, Blasticotomidae, Tenthredinidae, Diprionidae, Cimbicidae, Argidae, Pergidae, Pamphiliidae, Megalodontesidae, Megalodontidae, Cephidae, Siricidae, Anaxyelidae, Xiphydriidae, Orussidae.


A mosaic of the horntail Tremex columba in the subway station of the American
Museum of Natural History.

Phylogeny of Hymenoptera

Determining the phylogeny of all hymenopteran families is a daunting task that can only be tackled by a group of researchers. Such a group effort had been granted substantial financial support by the NSF. I am very happy to have been part of this "Assembling the Tree of Life: Hymenoptera" project. For more information on the project, please click on the "HymAToL project" button in the left margin.

Phylogeny of 'Symphyta'

The phylogeny of basal Hymenoptera ('Symphyta') is now relatively well supported on superfamily level. The phylogeny of sawfly superfamilies shown below is based on a simultaneous analysis of exemplars from 47 sawfly genera and nine apocritan families (Schulmeister 2003c). The analysis employed 343 morphological characters and DNA sequences from five genes (12S, 16S, 18S, 28S, CO1). The morphological characters in that analysis are from Schulmeister (2003b). Of these 343 characters, 230 originate from Vilhelmsen (2001) (some were slightly modified), 82 are new characters from the male reproductive organs (Schulmeister 2003d), 20 are derived from my studies of the remaining adult and larval morphology (Schulmeister 2003a, 2003b), and the remaining 11 from other sources (Ronquist et al. 1999, Vilhelmsen et al. 2001, Sharkey and Roy 2002).

Phylogeny of Tenthredinoidea

One of my current projects is a study of the phylogenetic relationships within the superfamily Tenthredinoidea. With about 7000 species, it is the most speciose superfamily of 'Symphyta'. Relatively well supported are the monophyly of Argidae+Pergidae and the monophyly of Tenthredinoidea s.str. (= Tenthredinoidea without Blasticotomidae = Argidae, Pergidae, Cimbicidae, Diprionidae, and Tenthredinidae). The main focus of my study is to examine the monophyly of the families and their relationships to each other.

Phylogeny of Cimbicidae

This family of Tenthredinoidea, characterized by their clubbed antennae, consists of four subfamilies: Pachylostictinae, Coryninae, Abiinae, and Cimbicinae. I am currently investigating the phylogeny within this family.

Character Systems

For my phylogenetic research, I use DNA sequences as well as morphological characters. I use characters from all parts of males, females, and larvae, but my main interest is the male reproductive system. Another character system of interest to me are the tarsal plantulae.

References on this page

Ronquist, F., Rasnitsyn, A. P., Roy, A., Eriksson, K., and Lindgren, M., 1999: Phylogeny of the Hymenoptera: a cladistic reanalysis of Rasnitsyn's (1988) data. Zoologica Scripta 28: 13-50.

Schulmeister, S., 2003a: Morphology and evolution of the tarsal plantulae in Hymenoptera (Insecta), focusing on the basal lineages. Zoologica Scripta 32: 153-172.

Schulmeister, S., 2003b: Review of morphological evidence on the phylogeny of basal Hymenoptera (Insecta), with a discussion of the ordering of characters. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 79: 209-243.

Schulmeister, S., 2003c: Simultaneous analysis of basal Hymenoptera (Insecta), introducing robust-choice sensitivity analysis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 79: 245-275. For additions to and corrections of errors in this paper, click on the "Publications" button in the left margin.

Schulmeister, S., 2003d: Genitalia and terminal abdominal segments of male basal Hymenoptera (Insecta): morphology and evolution. Organisms, Diversity and Evolution 3: 253-279.
Sharkey, M. J., and Roy, A., 2002: Phylogeny of the Hymenoptera: a reanalysis of the Ronquist et al. (1999) reanalysis, emphasizing wing venation and apocritan relationships. Zoologica Scripta 31: 57-66.

Vilhelmsen, L., 2001: Phylogeny and classification of the extant basal lineages of the Hymenoptera. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 131: 303-442.

Vilhelmsen, L., Isidoro, N., Romani, R., Basibuyuk, H. H., Quicke, D. L. J., 2001: Host location and oviposition in a basal group of parasitic wasps: the subgenual organ, ovipositor apparatus and associated structures in the Orussidae (Hymenoptera, Insecta). Zoomophology 121: 63-84.

Webdesign, Macroxyela photo and HymAToL logo by Susanne Schulmeister