The phylogeography of Oecophylla smaragdina was studied using the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (Cytb), cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI), and nuclear long-wavelength opsin gene (LW Rh). Weaver ants were collected from 35 localities and from one to nine colonies per locality. Neighbor-joining trees inferred from 647 bp of Cytb and 1,026 bp of COI using Oecophylla longinoda as an outgroup indicated that the haplotypes of O. smaragdina were clearly separated into seven groups: group 1 of India excluding West Bengal; group 2 of Bengal, Indochinese Peninsula, Malay Peninsula and Greater Sunda Islands, including Lombok and Sumbawa; group 3 of the Philippines; group 4 of Flores; group 5 of Sulawesi; group 6 of Halmahera; and group 7 of New Guinea and Australia. This grouping was also supported by a strict consensus tree derived from maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood trees. In addition, two haplotypes of LW Rh were found in O. smaragdina: one in group 2 and another in all the other groups. Comparison to haplotypes in other hymenopteran species suggests that group 2 is younger than other groups of O. smaragdina. The clustering of the seven groups was coincident with geological evidence of the distribution of continents, islands, and seas during glacial periods.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics