Welcome to LLAMA

Project News:

The LLAMA project is now over, but the ant portion has a new life as ADMAC, Ant Diversity of the MesoAmerican Corridor, with its new website here.

Cool new beetle, Electribius llamae, named after the LLAMA project! Thanks Matthew and Milada. GIMMEL, M. L., and M. BOCAKOVA. 2015. A new extant species of Electribius Crowson from Honduras (Coleoptera: Elateroidea: Artematopodidae). 2015 3926:296-300.

Enio Cano describes new passalid beetles, including Ogyges llama! Ref: Cano, E. B. (2014) Ogyges Kaup, a flightless genus of Passalidae (Coleoptera) from Mesoamerica: nine new species, a key to identify species, and a novel character to support its monophyly. Zootaxa  3889:451–484.

Sokolov and Kavanaugh discover new aniline carabids in LLAMA material! References: Sokolov IM (2013) A new genus and eight new species of the subtribe Anillina (Carabidae, Trechinae, Bembidiini) from Mexico, with a cladistic analysis and some notes on the evolution of the genus. ZooKeys 352: 51–92. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.352.6052. Sokolov IM, Kavanaugh DH (2014) The integripennis species group of Geocharidius Jeannel, 1963 (Carabidae, Bembidiini, Anillina) from Nuclear Central America: a taxonomic review with notes about biogeography and speciation. ZooKeys 443: 61–118. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.443.7880.

Tylodinus andersoni
, one of the 32 new species described by Luna-Cozar et al.! Ref: Luna-Cozar, J., R. S. Anderson, R. W. Jones, and J. L. León-Cortés. 2014. A taxonomic monograph of the genus Tylodinus Champion (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Cryptorhynchinae: Tylodina) of Chiapas, Mexico. Zootaxa 3788:1-63.

Veijalainen and colleagues make good use of LLAMA material to discover new species of tropical parasitic wasps. Ref: Veijalainen, A., G. R. Broad, and I. E. Sääksjärvi. 2014. Twenty seven new species of Orthocentrus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae; Orthocentrinae) with a key to the Neotropical species of the genus. Zootaxa 3768:201-252.
Luk and Marshall discover wingless flies. LLAMA material was a big part of this study, in which 27 new species of flies were described. This is a group of wingless, litter-inhabiting flies that have radiated in cloud forests of Central and South America. Reference: Luk, S. P. and S. A. Marshall. 2014. A revision of the New World genus Aptilotella Duda (Sphaeroceridae: Limosininae). Zootaxa 3761:1-156.

Megalomyrmex fungiraptor, one of several new species described by Boudinot, Sumnicht, and Adams. Very cool ants that attack fungus-growing ants. Reference: Boudinot, B. E., T. P. Sumnicht, and R. M. M. Adams. 2013. Central American ants of the genus Megalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): six new species and keys to workers and males. Zootaxa 3732:1-82.

Rare parasitic wasps
. LLAMA contributes holotypes for two new species. Reference: Bennett, A. M. R., I. E. Sääksjärvi, and G. R. Broad. 2013. Revision of the New World species of Erythrodolius (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Sisyrostolinae), with a key to the world species. Zootaxa 3702:425-436.

E. circumcapillum
Mini-Monsters! Longino describes 33 new leaf litter ants. These are scary-looking ants; glad they're small. References: Longino, J. T. 2013. A review of the Central American and Caribbean species of the ant genus Eurhopalothrix Brown and Kempf, 1961 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with a key to New World species. Zootaxa 3693:101-151. Longino, J. T. 2013. A revision of the ant genus Octostruma Forel 1912 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zootaxa 3699:1-61. And they made it onto NPR! 


And BBC Earth Juice:


Boudinot 2013
Boudinot gets muscular with male genitalia. Reference: Boudinot, B. E. 2013. The male genitalia of ants: musculature, homology, and functional morphology (Aculeata, Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 30:29-49.

Anderson finds new weevil tribe in Nicaragua! This new species has high taxonomic significance. It represents a new tribe, sister to all other species in a weevil subfamily. Reference: Anderson, R. S., and A. E. Marvaldi. 2013. Finding unexpected beetles in odd places: Archicorynus kuscheli Anderson and Marvaldi, a new genus and species representing a new tribe, Archicorynini, of Oxycoryninae (Coleoptera: Belidae) from Nicaragua. Coleopterists Bulletin 67: 61-71.

Branstetter publishes his Magnum Opus!
Amazing diversity of Middle-American mountain ants revealed. 33 new species described! Reference: Branstetter, M. 2013. Revision of the Middle American clade of the ant genus Stenamma Westwood (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae). ZooKeys 295:1-277.

Remember the 2012 Branstetter paper on Stenamma? Michael was just awarded BEST PAPER PUBLISHED during 2011/2012 by the editors of Systematic Entomology! What a star!

More litter ants!
The cryptic genus Rhopalothrix revealed. Eight new species described. Above image is the new species Rhopalothrix apertor, whose mandible looks like a bottle opener. Ref: Longino, J. T., B. Boudinot. 2013. New species of Central American Rhopalothrix Mayr, 1870 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zootaxa 3616:301-324. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3616.4.1

High Tropical Parasitoid Wasp Diversity! In a nice spin-off from the ant-weevil focus of LLAMA, Veijalainen et al. make great use of the ichneumonids from the LLAMA Malaise samples. The tropics have more parasitoid wasps than you might think. Refs: Veijalainen, A., N. Wahlberg, G. R. Broad, T. L. Erwin, J. T. Longino, and I. E. Sääksjärvi. 2012. Unprecedented ichneumonid parasitoid wasp diversity in tropical forests. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279:4694-4698. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1664. Veijalainen, A., I. E. Sääksjärvi, T. L. Erwin, I. C. Gómez, and J. T. Longino. 2013. Subfamily composition of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) from western Amazonia: insights into diversity of tropical parasitoid wasps. Insect Conservation and Diversity 6:28-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2012.00185.x

Ants of Guatemala! Branstetter and Sáenz publish new ant faunal list for Guatemala, the most significant advance since the Biologia Centrali-Americana in 1899. The list records 13 subfamilies, 79 genera, and 420 species. The chapter also includes species that likely occur in Guatemala, natural history and taxonomic notes about Guatemalan genera, a complete taxonomic bibliography, and a review of identification resources for Central American ants. Ref: Branstetter, M. G., and L. Sáenz. 2012. Las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Guatemala, Pages 221-268 in E. B. Cano, and J. C. Schuster, eds. Biodiversidad de Guatemala, Vol. 2. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala, Guatemala.

Adelomyrmex anxiocalor

Longino reviews Central American Adelomyrmex. Nine new species described. Ref: Longino, J. T. 2012. A review of the ant genus Adelomyrmex Emery 1897 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Central America. Zootaxa 3456:1-35. pdf. Above image is of the new species A. anxiocalor, known from one mountaintop in Honduras. This and several other Adelomyrmex species are restricted to one or a few high-elevation mountaintops in Central America and are clearly threatened with mountaintop extinction due to climate change.
Sharma and Giribet use LLAMA specimens to show ancient "out of the Neotropics" scenario for harvestmen dispersal to Australasia. Refs.: Sharma, P. P., and G. Giribet. in press. Out of the Neotropics: late Cretaceous colonization of Australasia by American arthropods. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Sharma, P. P., and Giribet, G. 2011. The evolutionary and biogeographic history of the armoured harvestmen – Laniatores phylogeny based on ten molecular markers, with the description of two new families of Opiliones (Arachnida). Invertebrate Systematics 25:106-142.
Branstetter discovers major radiation of Central American ants!
Michael Branstetter has resolved the internal phylogeny of the ant genus Stenamma, revealing a major and previously unknown Central American radiation. Ref.: Branstetter, M. G. 2012. Origin and diversification of the cryptic ant genus Stenamma Westwood (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), inferred from multilocus molecular data, biogeography and natural history. Systematic Entomology DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2012.00624.x

A new genus of leaf litter flea beetles from LLAMA material! Andersonaltica. Five new species described. Ref.: Linzmeier, A. M. & A. S. Konstantinov. 2012. A new genus of leaf litter inhabiting Neotropical Monoplatina (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini). Zootaxa 3260:19-32.

LLAMA material is major contribution to taxonomy of leaf litter spiders; 26 new species described, including Costarina llama. Ref.: Platnik, N. I. & N. Dupérré. 2012. The goblin spider genus Costarina (Araneae, Oonopidae). Part 1. American Museum Novitates 3730:1-64.

Jennie Russ appears on LiveScience, writing about her LLAMA experience and showcasing her incredible animation.
LLAMA project written up in Hamuli, the newsletter of the International Society of Hymenopterists.

LLAMA material yields new species of new ant genus Zatania. Ref: LaPolla, J. S., R. J. Kallal, and S. G. Brady. 2012. A new ant genus from the Greater Antilles and Central America, Zatania (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), exemplifies the utility of male and molecular character systems. Systematic Entomology 37:200-214.

LLAMA material yields new genus of lygaeoid from Chiapas. Ref: Brailovsky, H., and E. Barrera. 2010. New genus, two new species and a new record of Mexican Lygaeoidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Rhyparochromidae: Rhyparochrominae). Entomological News 121:217-224.
Leptanilloides gracilis
LLAMA discovered this new species in southern Mexico and Guatemala, setting the new northern range limit for the subfamily (formerly Costa Rica). Ref: Borowiec, M. L., and J. T. Longino. 2011. Three new species and reassessment of the rare Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Leptanilloidinae). Zookeys 133:19-48.

Gavin Broad et al. describe the new ichneumonid genus Terrylee with two species, one from Peru and T. olearius from Honduras. The latter was based on LLAMA material from Sierra de Agalta. Ref: Broad, G. R., I.. E. Sääksjärvi, A. Veijalainen, D. G. Notton. 2011. Three new genera of Banchinae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) from Central and South America. Journal of Natural History 45:1311-1329.

You've got to see this to believe it! Jennie Russ (2009, Guatemala) and Ryan Buck produced this animation of the LLAMA project methods. See it here.

LLAMA student participant Crystal Vincent (2009, Guatemala) wins prestigious 2010 L’Oreal Canada Women in Science Mentor Fellowship!

Project LLAMA featured on LiveScience!