Masashi Yoshimura

  • Entomology
  • PhD

Male-Based Taxobomy of Ants in Madagascar

My research focuses on taxonomy of male ants. Male-based taxonomy of ants offers to provide new insights into their taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology and conservation biology. Specialized characters often found only in male ants make them a substantive source of many new morphological information. For groups of ants difficult to distinguish via female characters, males often provide critical diagnostic characters. In practical terms, observing and analyzing male ants can yield information about colony dispersal strategies and the special role of males in reproduction.

Despite the promise offered by male-based ant taxonomy, a number of obstacles have hampered its widespread adoption. Existing information about male taxonomy is scattered among many sources, making taxonomic systematization difficult. Keys and diagnoses of male ants remain scarce and locally limited to just a few geographic regions. And current taxonomic diagnoses for ants are typically based onworker morphologies alone.

To establish male-based keys and their diagnoses for a particular region, comprehensive collections of both males and their conspecific workers is required. Most ideally, specimen collections should include the entire ant fauna of a region, but such comprehensive collections are quite rare.

The Malagasy ant collection at the California Academy of Sciences is an example of one such almost complete collection. Its comprehensive regional coverage offers the opportunity to address the problems of male-based taxonomy. The collection includes numerous males, most of which are associated with their workers, in a well-organized, databased, and imaged collection that is suitable for analysis using molecular tools.

Establishing an identification system for the male ants of the Malagasy region will be an important step toward systematizing taxonomic information of all males. The system will also contribute to conservation biology research in the highly diverse and endemic Malagasy region.

Japanese Ant Database

Education

Degree of Doctor of Agriculture (March 2004)
Title of the thesis: Taxonomic Studies of Japanese Male Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Practical Use of Their Morphological Information

The Doctoral Course (2001-2004)
Course of Biotic Environment
United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Iwate University
Inada-cho, Obihiro,
Hokkaido 080-8555, JAPAN

The Master's Course (1999-2001)
Course of Agro-Environmental Science
Graduate School of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro University
Inada-cho, Obihiro,
Hokkaido 080-8555, JAPAN

Undergraduate (1993-1996)
Department of Dairy Science
Faculty of Dairy Science
Rakuno Gakuen University
582 Midori-machi, Bunkyodai,
Ebetsu, Hokkaido 069-8501, JAPAN

Hokkaido College of Arts and Sciences (Rakuno Gakuen University Dairy Science Institute) (1991-1993)
582 Midori-machi, Bunkyodai,
Ebetsu, Hokkaido 069-8501, JAPAN

Experience

Schlinger Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Systematic Entomology (November 2008 - Present)
Department of Entomology
California Academy of Sciences

Visiting Research Fellow (April 2008 - October 2008)
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Kyushu University
6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku,
Fukuoka 812-8581, JAPAN.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (April 2005 - March 2008)
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS),
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Kyushu University

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (January - March 2005)
Department of Entomology
California Academy of Sciences.

Research Fellow (July - December 2004)
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Kyushu University

Teacher of science (April 1996 - March 1999)
Oshidomari junior high school
Sakae-machi, Rishirifuji-cho,
Rishiri,
Hokkaido 097-0101, JAPAN.

PUBLICATIONS

The Original Papers

1. Onoyama K, Yoshimura M (2002) The ants of the genus Proceratium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Japan. Entomological Science 5, 29-49. Link

2. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K (2002) Male-based keys to the subfamilies and genera of Japanese ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomological Science 5, 421-443. Link

3. Japanese Ant Database Group (2003) Ant Image Database 2003. Japanese Ant Database Group, Sendai. Link

4. Japanese Ant Database Group (2003) Ants of Japan. GAKKEN, Tokyo.

5. Yoshimura M, Hirata T, Nakajima A, Onoyama K (2003) Ants from scats and pellets in the nests of the Japanese Wryneck Jynx torquilla japonica. Ornithological Science 2, 127-131. Link

6. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K (2003) A new record of a dacetine ant, Strumigenys godeffroyi Mayr, 1866 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Japan. Edaphologia 71, 9-10.

7. Japanese Ant Database Group (2003) Super visual encyclopedia, Ants of Japan. GAKKEN, Tokyo (in Japanese).

8. Azuma N, Takahashi J, Kikuchi T, Yoshimura M, Onoyama K, Higashi S (2005) Microsatellite loci for Myrmica kotokui and their application in some congeneric ant species distributed in northern Japan. Molecular Ecology Notes 5, 118-120. Link

9. Eguchi K, Yoshimura M, Yamane S (2006) The Oriental species of the ant genus Probolomyrmex (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicinae: Proceratiinae). Zootaxa 1376, 1-35.

10. Yoshimura M, Fisher BL (2007) A revision of male ants of the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Key to subfamilies and treatment of the genera of Ponerinae. Zootaxa 1654, 21-40. PDF

11. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K (2007) A new sibling species of the genus Strumigenys, with a redefinition of S. lewisi Cameron. In: Snelling RR, Fisher BL, Ward PS (eds) Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions, pp. 664-690. American Entomological Institute, Gainesville. PDF

12. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K, Ogata K (2007) The ants of the genus Odontomachus (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Japan. Species Diversity 12, 89-112.

13. Japanese Ant Database Group 2008 (2008) Japanese Ant Image Database 2008. Japanese Ant Database Group, Sendai, Japan (in Japanese). Link

14. Yoshimura M, Hosoishi S, Kuboki Y, Onoyama K, Ogata K (2009) A new synonym and a new record of the ant genus Ponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Japan. Entomological Science 12, 194-201.

Papers Published in Bulletin (in Japanese)

1. Yoshimura M (1998) Ants from Islands in Hokkaido, Northern Japan (No.1, Rishiri Island). Rishiri Kenkyu 17, 33-38.

2. Kosugi K, Satoh M, Yoshimura M, Yoshimura Mar, Sakamoto R (1998) Morphological measurements body mass and stomach contents in Black-tailed Gull (Lalus crossirostris). Rishiri Kenkyu 17, 39-40.

3. Yoshimura M (1999) Ants from Islands in Hokkaido, Northern Japan (No. 2, Rebun Island). Rishirikenkyu 18, 49-54.

4. Yoshimura M (1999) Ants from Dung of Black Woodpecker in Rishiri-Island. Rishiri Kenkyu 18, 35-36.

5. Yoshimura M (2000) Ants from Islands in Hokkaido, Northern Japan (No. 3, Teuri Island). Rishiri Kenkyu 19, 27-35.

6. Yoshimura M (2000) Good relationship between ants and fungus. Hokkaido Kinoko no kai kaiho 43, 38-39.

7. Tarayama M, Onoyama K, Ogata K, Yoshimura M (2002) Notes on common names of Japanese ants. Ari 26, 48-50.

8. Kawabe M, Tanaka Y, Suda O, Nemoto K, Kawashima E, Matsuda M, Yoshimura M (2003) Remains of Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martis martis

9. Ogata K, Kubota M, collected in the eastern part to Taisetsuzan (Daisetsuzan) National Park, Hokkaido. Bulletin of the Higashi Taisetsu Museum of Natural History, 25: 51-52. Yoshimura M, Kuboki Y, Hosoishi S (2005) Taxonomic system The ant classification system proposed by Bolton. Ari 27, 13-24.

10. Yoshimura M (2007) Ant Image Databse 2007 Beta Version. Konchu to Shizen 42, 12-15.

11. Hosoishi S, Yoshimura M, Kuboki Y, Ogata K (2007) Ants from Yakushima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture. Ari 30, 47-54.

12. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K (2008) Taxonomic changes in the genus Strumigenys of Japan from 2003. Ari 31, 1-12.

13. Yoshimura M, Kubota M, Onoyama K, Ogata K (2008) Taxonomic changes since the publication of Japanese Ant Image Database 2003. Ari 31, 13-28.

PRESENTATIONS

International Congress

1. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K (2002 August) Usefulness of the taxonomic examination of male ants. 14th International Congress of the IUSSI. Sapporo, Hokkido, JAPAN (Poster).

2. Kihara A, Onoyama K, Ogata K, Terayama M, Yoshimura M, Kondoh M, Tsukii Y (2002 August) The Japanese Ant Image Database, Structure and Functions. 14th International Congress of the IUSSI. Sapporo, Hokkido, JAPAN (Poster).

3. Yoshimura M (2005 November) Males of two dacetine genera Strumigenys and Pyramica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). 5th ANet meeting. Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA (Oral).

4. Yoshimura M, Ogata K (2006 August) Taxonomic status of the genus Probolomyrmex: new information from the males (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). 16th International Congress of the IUSSI. Washington DC. U.S.A. (Poster).

5. Yoshimura M, Ogata K (2007 October) A comparative study of the male wings in the subfamily Proceratiinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). 6th ANet meeting. Patiala, INDIA (Oral).

Congress of the Societies in Japan (Oral in Japanese)

1. Yoshimura M (1998 August) Establishment of a key to genera of Japanese male ants. 44th congress of the Myrmecological Society of Japan. Hokkaido.

2. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K (2002 September) Morphological examination of dacetine males in Japan. 62th congress of the Entomological Society of Japan. Toyama.

3. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K, Ogata K (2003 August) Taxonomic study of the ant genus Odontomachus in Japan. 46th congress of the Myrmecological Society of Japan. Fukuoka.

4. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K, Ogata K (2004 August) Discussion about an evolution of the mandibles in dacetine ants based on their male morphologies. 47th congress of the Myrmecological Society of Japan. Ishikawa.

5. Yoshimura M, Ogata K, Onoyama K (2004 September) Taxonomic study of Odontomachus monticola. 64th congress of the Entomological Society of Japan. Hokkaido.

6. Yoshimura M, Onoyama K (2006 August) Taxonomic study of three Strumigenys ants in Japan, Strumigenys lewisi, S. sp.4, S. sp.9. 49th congress of the Myrmecological Society of Japan. Iwate.

7. Ugawa Y, Yoshimura M, Imai H (2006 August) The further system of Japanese Ant Image Database. 49th congress of the Myrmecological Society of Japan. Iwate.

8. Yoshimura M, Eguchi K, Yamane S, Ogata K (2006 September) Male based taxonomy of the ant genus Probolomyrmex (Hymenoptera; Formicidae). 66th congress of the Entomological Society of Japan. Kagoshima.

9. Yoshimura M, Hosoishi S, Onoyama K, Kuboki Y, Ogata K (2007 August) Taxonomic study of the two Ponera species from Island Yakushima. 50th congress of the Myrmecological Society of Japan. Okinawa.

10. Hosoishi S, Kuboki Y, Yoshimura M, Ogata K (2007 August) Ant fauna in Island Yakushima. 50th congress of the Myrmecological Society of Japan. Okinawa.

11. Yoshimura M, Ugawa Y, Onoyama K, Ogata K (2007 September) Provision of the Japanese Ant Image Database 2007 beta version. 67th congress of the Entomological Society of Japan. Hyogo.

12. Yoshimura M, Ugawa Y, Ogata K, Onoyama K, Imai H, Kubota M (2008 August) Publication of the Japanese Ant Image Database 2008. 51th congress of the Myrmecological Society of Japan. Shiga.

Contact

  • Masashi Yoshimura
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • 55 Music Concourse Drive
  • San Francisco, CA 94118
  • 415-379-5325 (direct)