Datasets

These datasets are free to re-use, but please cite the original source paper if using in the public domain. We strongly recommend reading the source paper prior to use to help understand the sources and limitations of the data.


Insect body lengths at family level. From:

Rainford, J. L., Hofreiter, M. and Mayhew, P. J. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that diversification and body size evolution are independent in insects. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16, 2016, 9.


Insect diets at family level. From:

Rainford, J. L. and Mayhew, P. J. Diet evolution and clade richness in Hexapoda: a phylogenetic study of higher taxa.  American Naturalist, 186, 2015, 777-791.


A family level dated phylogeny of hexapods. From:

Rainford, J. L., Hofreiter, M., Nicholson, D. B. and Mayhew, P. J. Phylogenetic distribution of extant richness suggests metamorphosis is a key innovation driving diversification in insects. PLoS ONE 9, 2014, e109085.


Species richness of hexapod families. From:

Rainford, J. L., Hofreiter, M., Nicholson, D. B. and Mayhew, P. J. Phylogenetic distribution of extant richness suggests metamorphosis is a key innovation driving diversification in insects. PLoS ONE 9, 2014, e109085.


A catalogue of first and last occurrences of hexapod families, with references, and taxon counts in spreadsheet format. From:

Nicholson, D. B., Mayhew, P. J. and Ross, A. J. Changes to the fossil record of insects through fifteen years of discovery. PLoS ONE, 10, 2015, e0128554.

These data can be used, with care, to address diversity related issues in the insects. They are also recommended as a starting point for dating nodes in phylogenies at family level. One advantage of these data over other alternative datasets is that they were (probably almost) complete at the time of publication and use a single internally consistent taxonomy.


A Supertree of Odonatoidea families, with dates and nodal support measures, and input trees. From:

Davis, R. B., Nicholson, D. B., Saunders, E. L. R. and Mayhew, P. J. Fossil gaps inferred from phylogenies alter the apparent nature of diversification in dragonflies and their relatives. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11, 2011, 252.


A Supertree of Hymenoptera families, with support measures, and input trees. This is an all-in MRC tree from figure 4 below. Also available are MRP and compartmentalized MRC trees.

Davis, R. B., Baldauf, S. L. and Mayhew, P. J. The origins of species richness in the Hymenoptera: insights from a family-level supertree. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10, 2010, 109.


Life history traits in ichneumonid and braconid wasps: a dataset of 382 species from chapters 4 and 5 of Ruth Traynor’s thesis. The data are in appendix 5.  Some of the findings from the thesis also appear in this review article.