September 12, 2022

A note on Pallopteridae Phylogenetics


I just wanted to upload some of this work that I did in my Phylogenetics class with Dr. Corrie Moreau during my last semester at Cornell, since I figure it would be interesting to the small number of people who actually know this family exists! In it, I used the existing COI data on NCBI to create phylogenies of the Pallopteridae and related families, along with an ordination of the different species based on wing pattern characteristics. Quite honestly, some of this report is a bit messy and hard to follow, but I'm not publishing it or anything so it should still be good enough. In addition, all phylogenetic results should be taken with a large heaping of salt given that only a single mitochondrial gene of 600 base pairs was used, which is not a very trustworthy data set for a phylogeny of multi-family scope.

Here's the presentation version; since it was made for me to verbally present with, there's not a ton of info on the slides.

Here's the written report version, where I go into much more depth into my methods and research of the Pallopteridae, along with more info in terms of my conclusions.

The main points are:
Pallopteridae should be restricted to Palloptera, Toxonevra, and Temnosira, excluding Eurygnathomyia and Maorina [corroborates Ho-Yeon Han, Papp]

Eurygnathomyia and Maorina represent separate family lineages (especially the latter, as Maorina was never recovered as sister to Pallopteridae sensu stricto)

The current concepts of Palloptera, Toxonevra, and Temnosira are likely paraphyletic in themselves [Corroborates Ho-Yeon]

The Nearctic Toxonevra do not seem to be the same genus as the Palearctic Toxonevra

There is a lot to be done in this family!!! The last paper on the group in the Nearctic is nearly 100 years old... and my work is very incomplete in terms of species coverage, so there's certainly more to be learned with more collection, better sampling, and more intensive sequencing techniques.

Tagging people who might be interested:
@ophrys @matthewvosper @sbushes @chrisangell @naturalistus @szucsich @treegrow @phycus @steve_kerr @dipterajere @zdanko @edanko


Posted on September 12, 2022 06:46 PM by spencerpote spencerpote | 9 comments | Leave a comment

February 24, 2022

Spring Cleaning of Specimens


I'm currently on track to graduate from Cornell this semester, which is exciting and daunting in equal measures~ As part of this, I'm going to be taking at least a year break between undergraduate and any graduate degrees, so I won't have an extensive storage space for specimens.

I have ~200 ethanol-filled vials stuffed with specimens, and this would be a really good time for me to send out specimens of interest to other researchers! I still have access to the shipping facilities of my lab, so it would be covered under their account, and I also have the ability to send specimens in EtOH, which I would need special permission to do as an individual.

If you happen to take a look through my observations, nearly all of the photos taken through a microscope are currently preserved in my EtOH collection. My main focus is on Acalyptratae (Diptera), so I'm planning on retaining the majority of those specimens. However, anything else I would gladly send over for your own morphological/DNA/anything else studies.

The majority of my specimens are from Ithaca, New York, , but I have a few from private properties in Arizona and California too. In addition, if I had multiples of a given specimen, I only took one photo to represent them all, so I may have duplicates (but I honestly didn't take notes... foresight is 20:20).

Just send me a message if you're interested!


[I'm going to tag some of my most common identifiers here just in case they're interested: @nomolosx @brandonwoo @johnascher @bdagley @trichopria @jeongyoo @sdjbrown @trinaroberts @mjplagens @edanko @arman_ @kschnei @kgrebennikov @aispinsects @borisb @jeremyhussell @zdanko @chrisangell @omnipresent_millipede @jane41 @hopperdude215 @grigorenko @phycus @johnklymko]

Posted on February 24, 2022 07:33 PM by spencerpote spencerpote | 3 observations | 12 comments | Leave a comment

May 15, 2021

Finished site on Strauzia


I have just finished a semester long project for my class on speciation, and it's now uploaded as a site all about the fruit fly genus Strauzia (Diptera: Tephritidae). I don't think many people know about this group, and even less knew about their rising recognition as a study organism for sympatric ecological speciation!


Posted on May 15, 2021 05:28 PM by spencerpote spencerpote | 2 comments | Leave a comment