Phylogeny of Leptomyrmex
Lucky (2011): Monophyly of the genus Leptomyrmex was recovered, as was the sister-group relationship of ‘micro-’ and ‘macro-’ Leptomyrmex species. Divergence dating analyses estimate that Leptomyrmex arose in the Eocene (stem age ~44 million years ago (ma)), and that the ‘macro-’ species diverged from the ‘micro-’ species in the early Oligocene (~31 ma). Diversification of the crown group ‘macro-’ and ‘micro-’ Leptomyrmex occurred in the Miocene (~15 ma and 7.9 ma, respectively). New Guinea and New Caledonian lineages appear to have diverged from Australian lineages only recently (~4.7 ma and 10.3 ma, respectively), and the latter clade is inferred to have reached New Caledonia from Australia via long distance dispersal.
For relationships among the genera of the Dolichoderinae (to which Leptomyrmex belongs) see Phylogeny of Dolichoderinae.
- Lucky, A. (2011). Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the spider ants, genus Leptomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59, 281-292.