Phylogeny of Halictidae bees from Africa and Europe

Pilot project
Alain Pauly & Jean‐Luc Boevé (RBINS)
JEMU partner: 
Gontran Sonet, Carl Vangestel and Massimiliano Virgilio
Project summary: 
The Halictinae constitute a large subfamily of bees for which a big collection is available at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the Royal Museum for Central Africa. It is sometimes called the “nightmare taxon” because it contains many species that are difficult to identify. More than 150 species are known in Europe and some hundreds of species in Africa. Recently, the systematics of these bees was profoundly modified following a molecular phylogeny mainly focusing on Nearctic species. For Afrotropical and West Palaearctic species, the classification remains based on morphological traits, which causes incoherences in the classification of some taxa, mainly at the genus and subgenus levels. By studying one to four gene fragments of 172 bees belonging to 150 species and combining them with the gene fragments already published for ca. 100 other bees, we investigate the evolutionary history of several groups of species.
PhD. student Grégoire Noel (ULiege) Training of MSc. student Nadège Georges (UMons)
Lab work progress: 
Multilocus data set: completed In total, 1-4 gene fragments (cytochrome oxidase c subunit I, elongation factor alpha, wingless and long-wavelength rhodopsin) of 172 bees belonging to 150 species have been sequenced.
Data analysis: 
In progress
Starting date: 
Project status: 
Article in prep.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith