Monday, 30 July 2012

Morphology of immature stages of the butterfly genus Junea and its implications

Fredy Montero was very kind to send me his recent publication (with Maira Ortiz) describing morphological characters of eggs, larvae and pupae of  the satyrine butterfly genus Junea.

They raised the specimens on the hostplant Chusquea in Colombia. What I found most interesting is the morphology of the last instars of the larva. They have very long "horns" and long bifid "tails".
Head of Junea doraete larva.
It was believed that the only Neotropical butterfly with these traits was the satyrine butterfly Eteona tisiphone from southeast Brazil:
Eteona tisiphone larva (from Freitas, 2002), head on the left.
These similarities explain in part why Eteona and Junea appear as closely related taxa in the Satyrinae phylogeny that we published in 2006:
Satyrinae phylogeny from Peña et al., 2006: doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2006.02.007
At the time of writing that manuscript, it was very strange to find the Andean genera Junea and Pronophila close to the genera Eteona and Foetterleia (that are mainly distributed in Southeastern Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina). It is nice to see that these relationships can be supported by morphological characters of immature stages. It would be very interesting to see whether the larvae and pupae of Pronophila and Foetterleia share the same characters with Eteona and Junea. This could require interesting biogeographical explanations for such close relationships of among currently disjunct taxa.
Pupae of Junea doraete (left) and Eteona tisiphone (right).

  • Freitas, A. V. L. Immature stages of Eteona tisiphone (Nymphalidae Satyrinae). Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 56, 286–288 (2002).
  • Montero Abril, F. & Perez, M. O. Estados inmaduros e historia natural de algunas especies de la subtribu Pronophilina (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae) presentes en el paramo del Tablazo, Colombia. I. Junea doraete doraete (Hewitson 1858). Tropical Lepidoptera Research 22, 32–41 (2012).
  • Carlos Peña, Niklas Wahlberg, Elisabet Weingartner, Ullasa Kodandaramaiah, Sören Nylin, André V.L. Freitas, Andrew V.Z. Brower (2006). Higher level phylogeny of Satyrinae butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) based on DNA sequence data Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 40 (1), 29-49 DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2006.02.007

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

PLoS Altmetric API will change soon

Just got an email from PLoS ALM Team saying that they are updating their API for their Article Level Metrics (ALM; Altmetric) tools.

The Almetric software shows "citation" data on scientific papers harvested from social networks such as Twitter, Scientific Blogs, Citeulike and Mendeley. They deliver this content via their very easy API.

You could also visit their website and enter a DOI number for your favorite paper and see how many citations from social network it has. Also you can see the "hot" papers that have the most number of citations so are the one that "everybody" is reading right now.

I am using the altmetric API for my website and noticed that there seems to be a mix up in the data that was harvested for one of our recently published papers:

Peña C, Malm T (2012) VoSeq: A Voucher and DNA Sequence Web Application. PLoS ONE 7: e39071. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039071

For some reason Altmetric started to collect data from their announcement when their released Altmetric:

You can see the Altmetric API and changes in their github profile:

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Voseq, web database for molecular phylogenetics

  • Are you working in molecular phylogenetics? Do you and your lab produce lots of DNA sequences. 
  • Are you tired of trying to find your sequences among several text files and Excel sheets? 
  • Do you wish there was a easy-to-use database to keep track of sequences and their associated voucher specimens? 
  • Did you ever wished there was a system to create molecular datasets for analysis in PAUP or MrBayes by just a few clicks of a mouse? 
If the answers are "yes", then VoSeq might be for you. VoSeq is a voucher and DNA sequence web application database aimed for people working in molecular phylogenetics.

Main features of VoSeq:

  • Keep track of your sequences and associated voucher specimens. 
  • You upload your data to VoSeq and the back-end relational database will allow you to easily search, fetch, update, etc your DNA sequences or voucher data. 
  • With a few clicks, you can create ready-to-run datasets in NEXUS, Phylip, TNT formats, as well as FASTA files for submission to GenBank. 
  • Use the BLAST capabilities to find similar sequences among those you have, or BLAST against GenBank. 
  • Automated integration with public web services such as Flickr (for posting your voucher photos) and Yahoo Maps (for plotting voucher localities). 
  • You can install it in your computer for private use, or set it up in a shared server for collaborative work via the internet. 
  • and more. 
The publication describing VoSeq came out recently:

Peña, C. & Malm, T. (2012). VoSeq: a Voucher and DNA Sequence Web Application PLOS ONE, 7 (6) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039071

Carlos Peña: 
Tobias Malm: