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Eusociality and the success of the termites: insights from a supertree of dictyopteran families.
Department of Biology, University of York.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organism Biology, Systematic Biology.
University of York, Department of Biology.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 22, no 8, 1750-1761 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 22, no 8, 1750-1761 p.
Keyword [en]
Ancestral states, Dictyoptera, eusociality, extinction, Isoptera, macroevolution, phylogeny, speciation, species richness, supertree
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Systematics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-141861OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-141861DiVA: diva2:386395
Available from: 2011-01-12 Created: 2011-01-12

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