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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Philoliche gulosa_Philoliche gulosa
(photo by Shelah Morita)

Shelah I. Morita, NSF International Research Fellow

  • Phone: 202-633-1008
  • Fax: 202-786-2894
  • E-mail Address: MoritaS@si.edu

  • USPS Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    Department of Entomology
    P.O. Box 37012
    MRC-0169
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Education:

    PhD University of California, Davis
    MS UC, Davis
    BS UC, Riverside

Shelah Morita

Research Interests:

  • In general, I am interested in the role species interactions play in shaping organismal evolution and diversity. My research focuses on the ecological systematics of horse flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) and how the evolution of floral associated morphology may be linked to their diversity.
  • http://pangonid.net/index.html

Publications:

Morita, Shelah I. 2011. Repeatability and precision in proboscis length measurements for long proboscid flies. Zootaxa, 3112: 49-58.

Buffington, M. L. and S. I. Morita (2009).  Not all oak gall wasps gall oaks: the description of Dryocosmus rileypokei, a new, apostate species of Cynipini from California.  Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 111(1): 244–253

Morita, S. I. (2008). A revision of the Philoliche aethiopica species complex. African Invertebrates 49(1):129-158.

Morita, S. I. (2008). A phylogeny of long-tongued horse flies (Philoliche, Diptera: Tabanidae) with the first cladistic evaluation of higher relationships within the family. Invertebrate Systematics. 22(3): 311–327.

Johnson, S. D. and S. I. Morita (2006). Lying to Pinocchio: floral deception in an orchid pollinated by long-proboscid flies. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 152:271-278..

Brody, A. K. and S. I. Morita (2000). A positive association between oviposition and fruit set: female choice or manipulation? Oecologia 124 (3), pages 418-425.

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Morita, S. I. and S. D. Johnson (manuscript). Floral niche models best explain parallel evolution of long proboscides in blood-sucking pollinators (Tabanidae:Philoliche).

Morita, S. I. and D. Barraclough (manuscript). A new species of long-proboscid tangle-vein fly explains some proboscis length variation in the Prosoeca ganglbaueri species complex (Diptera: Nemestrinidae).

Morita, S. I. (manuscript). How not to stretch the issue: challenges and solutions for consistent proboscis length measurement in long-proboscid flies.

Morita, S. I. (manuscript). Allowing for polymorphic ancestors shows no evidence for Darwin’s arms race in long-proboscid horse flies.

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Selected PRESENTATIONS:

Morita, S.I, K. M. Bayless, and B. M. Wiegmann. “Molecular phylogeny of the horse flies: a framework for renewing tabanid taxonomy.” 56th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Reno, Nevada, November 19th, 2008.

Morita, S. I. “Bioassociative forensics: Harvesting species interaction data from collections and the importance of specimen level databasing.” Invited symposium speaker: Uses of collections for non-systematic purposes. Entomological Collections Network Annual Meeting, Reno, Nevada, November 15th, 2008.

Morita, S. I. “Floral niche models best explain proboscis length evolution in long-tongued, bloodsucking pollinators (Diptera: Tabanidae).”  Invited symposium speaker: Plant Insect Interaction- Floral rewards and advertising. XXIII International Congress of Entomology, Durban, South Africa, July 8th, 2008.

Morita, S. I. “Floral niche models best explain proboscis length evolution in long-tongued, bloodsucking pollinators (Diptera: Tabanidae). Joint meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, and the Society of Systematic Biologists, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 24th,  2008.

Morita, S.I. “The Evolution of Blood-Sucking Pollinators.”  Invited speaker for the 1111th meeting of the Entomological Society of Washington, Washington, DC, October 4th, 2007.

Morita, S.I. “The Evolution of Long-Tongued Fly Pollinators.”  Invited speaker for the North Carolina State University Department of Entomology Seminar Series, Raleigh, North Carolina, September 10th, 2007.

Morita, S.I. “Hunting for long-tongued flies in South Africa.”  Invited speaker for the North American Dipterists Society at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Indianapolis, Indiana, December 12th, 2006.

Morita, S.I. “Bloodsucking Flower-feeders: horse flies as pollinators.”  Featured speaker for the US Embassy Department of Cultural Affairs Science Outreach Program.  Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, October 25th, 2006.

Morita, S.I. “A preliminary phylogeny for the horse flies.” Presented at the 6th International Congress of Dipterology, Fukuoka, Japan, September 28th, 2006.

Morita, S.I. “Bloodsucking Flower-feeders: proboscis length evolution in long tongued horse flies.” Presented at the joint meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, and the Society of Systematic Biologists, Stonybrook, New York, June 23rd, 2006.

Morita, S.I. “Insect Systematics at UC Davis and Phylogeographic Structure of Tongue Length and Its Relationship to Floral Resources in the Long-tongued Horsefly Pollinator Philoliche aethiopica (Diptera: Tabanidae).” Invited speaker for the Graduate Student Symposium in Systematics. Pacific Branch Entomological Society of America 89th Annual Meeting. Pacific Grove, California, March 1st, 2005.

Morita, S, I. “Phylogeographic structure of proboscis length in the long-tongued horse fly pollinator Philoliche aethiopica (Diptera: Tabanidae).” Presented at the 6th Young Systematists' Forum, London, UK, Dec. 9th, 2004.

Morita, S.I. “Phylogeographic structure in the long tongued horse fly pollinator Philoliche aethiopica (Diptera: Tabanidae).” Presented at the Southern Connections meeting, Cape Town, South Africa, January 20th, 2004.

Morita, S. I. and Brody, A. K. “A positive association between ovipostion by a pre-dispersal seed predator and fruit set: Female choice or manipulation?” Presented at the joint meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, and the Society of Systematic Biologists, Vancouver, B. C., Canada, June 23rd, 1998.

 

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