The most recent global bee phylogeny (and a bee that goes with pants)

Disclaimer: This post contains a taxonomy nerd-out.  You have been warned.

So here’s a thing I got pretty excited about…Cardinal and Danforth just recently published a full phylogeny of the world’s bees (Cardinal and Danforth 2013, current biology also covered it here).  (Danforth also did a review of the contribution of molecular phylogenies to our understanding of bees, which is pretty exciting if you’re into this stuff, read it here.)

Here is what the phylogeny looks like now:

Figure 1 from Cardinal and Danforth 2013

Figure 1 from Cardinal and Danforth 2013 (isn’t it beautiful?!?!)

There are of course many things that are interesting about this phylogeny, which I could (and probably will) talk about for days (I’ve already talked about the relationship between bees and wasps), but one thing that instantly caught my attention was this sister group to the rest of the bees, the Dasypodainae.

Sister group means that the Dasypodainae are separate from the rest of the bee families, which form a clade (just as all bees, Dasypodainae included, are a sister group to the wasps).

But I had never heard of Daypodainae before!  So I googled them, and clicked on the Wikipedia link…which was in Norwegian (here)!

If you translate the page, it gives you hilarious results.  “The most easily recognized that the legs tend to be long and powerful, with a long “fur” of reddish hair, it looks like the bees go with pants.”

It looks like the bees go with pants.  They go with pants!

Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Dasypoda sp. Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

My work here is done.  Clearly I will not find anything better than that today!

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8 thoughts on “The most recent global bee phylogeny (and a bee that goes with pants)

  1. I have Dasypoda hirtipes around me, they are lovely and called “Abeilles à culottes” in France. I discovered following your link that it is possible to rent papers. Have you ever done this? I had never heard of this before.

    • Are you in France? That is fantastic!! I’m so excited about Dasypoda now. I have access to the papers through my uni (and I am spoiled), but I imagine if you can rent them, you can print them? Then you would technically have a hard copy forever.

  2. Pingback: What is a mutualism? | standingoutinmyfield

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