Open Access
Volume 39, Number 1, January-February 2008
Insights into Bee Evolution: A Tribute to Charles D. Michener
Page(s) 86 - 101
Published online 08 April 2008
Apidologie 39 (2008) 86-101
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2008002

Phylogeny of Halictidae with an emphasis on endemic African Halictinae

Bryan N. Danforth1, Connal Eardley2, Laurence Packer3, Kenneth Walker4, Alain Pauly5 and Fano José Randrianambinintsoa6

1  Cornell University, Department of Entomology, 3119 Comstock Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-0901, USA
2  National Collection of Insects, Biosystematics Division, Plant Protection Research Institute, Private Bag X134, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
3  York University, Department of Biology, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 Canada
4  Division of Natural History, Museum of Victoria, Sciences Dept. GPO Box 666, Melbourne, 3001 Victoria, Australia
5  Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Department Entomology, rue Vautier 29, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
6  Département de Biologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences, Université d'Antananarivo, BP 906, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar

(Received 20 June 2007 - Revised 13 November 2007 - Accepted 15 november 2007 - Published online 8 April 2008)

Abstract - We review the literature on phylogeny, fossil record, biogeography, and social evolution in Halictidae. We then present a phylogenetic analysis of tribal, generic, and subgeneric relationships within the subfamily Halictinae using a combined data set of three nuclear genes: long-wavelength (LW) opsin, wingless, and EF-1$\alpha $. The data set includes 89 species in 34 genera representing all four halictid subfamilies, and all tribes of the subfamily Halictinae. Our study provides several new insights into the phylogeny of the African Halictinae. First, our results support a close relationship between Mexalictus (a small genus of bees occurring at high elevations in the mountains of western North and Central America) and the African/Asian genus Patellapis. Second, our results support placement of the parasitic genus Parathrincostoma well within its host genus Thrinchostoma, suggesting that Parathrincostoma should be treated as a subgenus of Thrinchostoma. Finally, our data set provides strong support for the monophyly of Patellapis (sensu Michener, 2000) and establishes monophyletic groups within the African subgenera that could be the basis for future taxonomic studies.

Key words: evolution / biogeography / bees / Apoidea

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2008