Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo, SI Pre-Doctoral Fellow
My main interests are the systematics, behavior, and evolutionary biology of insects, especially ants (Formicidae) and parasitic wasps (Scoliidae). In particular, I am very interested (as part of my graduate studies) in conducting the systematic revision of the primitive non-leaf-cutting fungus-growing ant genus Myrmicocrypta, and the construction of coevolutionary hypotheses including the ants and their symbionts (fungal cultivars, Escovopsis weed molds, and Pseudonocardia, antibiotic producing bacterial mutualism). To do so, I am planning to use both morphological and molecular approaches as well as data obtained from behavior and natural history to conduct this revision. Taxon sampling will include representative species from the genera that currently comprises the Attini (Formicidae: Mymicinae), and representatives from other Myrmicinae tribes, especially the tribe Blepharidattini (genera Blepharidatta and Wasmannia) which have been proposed to be the sister group of the attines. Morphological data will be recorded from all ant castes (gynes, males and workers). Molecular data will include sequences from nuclear (wingless, 28S- non-protein coding) and mitochondrial (COI) genes. Mitochondrial COI gene has proven to be at an appropriate rate of divergence for examination of species level relationships. If necessary, three more nuclear genes (EF1-alpha, EF2-alpha, and LwRh OPSIN) would be considered.
I am also currently conducting the world revision of the spider-egg predator ant genus Discothyrea (Proceratiinae) with Dr. John LaPolla (Towson University), using both morphological and molecular approaches. I am also conducting biodiversity studies in Central and South America in collaboration with Dr. Ted Schultz (NMNH-SI) and Dr. John LaPolla (Towson University), and comparing the ant fauna in the Guyana Shield vs. the Amazonian forest to extrapolate patterns of endemism and to identify areas of conservation concern.
Ješovnik A, Sosa-Calvo J, Lloyd M, Branstetter M, Fernandez F & Schultz TR (2016): Phylogenomic species delimitation and host-symbiont coevolution in the fungus-farming ant genus Sericomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Ultraconserved elements (UCEs) resolve a recent radiation. Systematic Entomology.
Sosa-Calvo J, Ješovnik A, Lopes C, Rodrigues A, Rabeling C, Bacci M Jr, Vasconcelos HL & Schultz TR (2017): Biology of the relict fungus-farming ant Apterostigma megacephala Lattke, including descriptions of the male, gyne, and larva. Insectes Sociaux. Link: http://rdcu.be/pHEX
Schultz, T.R., Sosa-Calvo, J., Brady, S.G., Lopes, C.T., Mueller, U.G., Bacci, M. & Vasconcelos, H.L. 2015. The Most Relictual Fungus-Farming Ant Species Cultivates the Most Recently Evolved and Highly Domesticated Fungal Symbiont Species. The American Naturalist, 185(5): 693-703. doi:10.1086/680501
Sosa-Calvo J, Schultz TR, Brandão CRF, Klingenberg C, Feitosa RM, Rabeling C, Bacci Jr. M, Lopes CT and Vasconcelos HL. (2013) Cyatta abscondita: Taxonomy, Evolution, and Natural History of a New Fungus-Farming Ant Genus from Brazil. PLoS ONE 8(11): e80498. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080498
Jesovnik, A., Sosa-Calvo, J.; Lopes, C., Vasconcelos, H., Schultz, T. R. 2013. Nest architecture, fungus gardens, queen, males and larvae of the fungus-growing ant Mycetagroicus inflatus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes. Insectes Sociaux 60(4): 531-542.
Solomon, S. E., Lopes, C.T., Mueller, U.G., Rodrigues, A., Sosa-Calvo, J., Schultz, T.R. and Vasconcelos, H.L. 2011. Nesting biology and fungiculture of the fungus-growing ant, Mycetagroicus cerradensis: New light on the origin of higher-attine agriculture. Journal of Insect Science, 11(12): 1-14.
Sosa-Calvo, J. and T.R. Schultz. 2010. Three remarkable new fungus-growing ant species of the genus Myrmicocrypta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a reassessment of the characters that define the genus and its position within the Attini. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 103(2): 181-195.
Sosa-Calvo, J., S.G. Brady and T.R. Schultz. 2009. The gyne of the enigmatic fungus-farming ant species Mycetosoritis explicata. J. Hymenopt. Res. 18(1): 113-120.
Azorsa, F. and J. Sosa-Calvo. 2008. Description of a remarkable new species of ant in the genus Daceton Perty (Formicidae: Dacetini) from South America. Zootaxa, 1749: 27-38.
Bolton, B., J. Sosa-Calvo, F. Fernandez, and J.E. Lattke. 2008. New synonyms in neotropical Myrmicine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa, 1732: 61-64.
Sosa-Calvo, J. and J. T. Longino. 2008. Chapter Seven. Subfamily Proceratiinae. In: Systematics, Biogeography, and Conservation of the hunting ants of Colombia. Jimenez, E., Fernandez, F., Arias, T.M., and Lozano-Zambrano, F.H. (Eds.). 219-238 p. (In Spanish)
LaPolla, J. S., T. Suman, J. Sosa-Calvo, and T. R. Schultz. 2007. Leaf litter ant diversity in Guyana. Biodiversity and Conservation, 16: 491-510.
Sosa-Calvo, J. 2007. Chapter Five. Ants of the leaf-litter of two plateaus in Eastern Suriname. 92-98. In: A Rapid Biological Assessment of the Lely and Nassau Plateaus, Suriname (with additional information on the Brownsberg Plateau). Alonso, L.E. and Mol, J.H. (Eds.) Rapid Assessment Program Bulletin of Biological Assessment 43. Conservation International
Sosa-Calvo, J. and D. F. Campos. 2005. First record of the family Heloridae
(Hymenoptera: Proctotrupoidea) for Colombia. Revista de la Sociedad Colombiana de Entomologia (SOCOLEN) 31: 233- 234. (In Spanish)
Sosa-Calvo, J., S. Shattuck, and T. R. Schultz. 2006. Dacetine ants of Panama: New records and description of a new species (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Dacetini). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 108(4): 814-821.
LaPolla, J. S., & J. Sosa-Calvo. 2006. Review of the ant genus Rogeria (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Guyana. Zootaxa 1330: 59-68.
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