TMU logo School of Science
Department of Biological Sciences
Molecular Neuroscience
Developmental Biology
Cellular Genetics
Molecular Genetics
Plant Development and Physiology
Cellular Biochemistry
Evolutionary Genetics
Plant Environmental Responses
Environmental Microbiology
Animal Ecology
Plant Ecology
Systematic Zoology
Systematic Botany
Photosynthetic Microbial Consortia
Photo Systematic Zoology Laboratory
Our laboratory is an interdisciplinary unit dealing with a variety of research topics integrating a wide range of components such as taxonomy and systematics, animal behaviour, ecology, biogeography, biodiversity informatics. We focus on terrestrial invertebrates, mainly insects and arachnids. Our highly international group comprises members from a multiple countries and staff from Japan and Australia.
Asc Prof Katsuyuki Eguchi e-mail
Asc Prof Adam L. Cronin e-mail
Ast Prof Akira Shimizu e-mail
Systematics and Biogeography of Ants (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Katsuyuki Eguchi
Approximately 12,000 species of ants have so far been described. Ants play important roles in terrestrial ecosystems. Scavenging on dead bodies and excreta of animals affects nutrient cycles. Preying on small invertebrates affects the composition of invertebrates in the lower trophic levels. Removing fruits and/or feeding on seeds affects the composition of seed banks. Digging soil and wood affects the formation of soil. On the other hand, increasing numbers of non-native ant species have been transported and introduced through our recent global trade and movement. Some of these are serious pests in agroecosystems and industrial and urban areas, and/or destroy natural ecosystems. Therefore, Formicidae is one of the major target taxa in biodiversity research and conservation programs. Systematics and biogeography provides the basic but indispensable information for such programs.

On-going major projects are:
(1) Systematic and biogeographic studies of ants and other terrestrial invertebrates, based on intensive field surveys in Asian countries.
(2) Biogeographic studies for facilitating control programs of invasive ants in the Ogasawara and Izu islands.
Systematics of Pompilidae (Hymenoptera)
Akira Shimizu
Female of Anoplius liukiu transporting prey forward on the surface of water
Spider-hunting wasps of the family Pompilidae are almost worldwide in distribution. Nearly 4,200 species have been described, and about 150 species occur in Japan. These wasps usually lead unspectacular lives, the female attacking spiders, paralyzing them by stinging, and placing them in simple nests dug in the soil. They lay an egg on the spider and the larva develops without contact with the mother. Some spider wasps, however, do not construct nests and behave as cleptoparasites of other pompilids or parasitoids of spiders. A few species may exhibit primitively social behavior, i.e. several females nest together without obvious cooperation. We are investigating the natural history, classification, phylogenetic relationships, and behavioral evolution of this family.
Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology of Social Insects and Others
Adam L. Cronin
(A) Myrmecina nipponica (B) Netlogo model used to assess the importance of spatial structure in the evolution of alternative life-history strategies, in this case alternative reproductive strategies in ant communities.
Social Organisms as Complex Systems
Highly integrated animal societies such as colonies of social insects can achieve complex tasks far beyond the capabilities of any single individual. These often sophisticated collective tasks are achieved without centralised leadership and with only rudimentary individual intelligence. We study how groups can compile information to exploit the intelligence of the swarm, and how swarm-based systems may be more robust and flexible than individuals in the execution of group tasks such as decision making and collective movement.

Evolutionary-ecology of Life-history Strategies
Social organisms can exploit a range of life-history strategies unavailable to individual organisms, and this may help explain their success in adapting to different environments. Social insects, for example, have a range of adaptive mechanisms to cope with different environments, including alternative reproductive strategies, shifts in trophic ecology and/or variation in social structure. We explore the evolutionary ecology of these adaptive mechanisms using a combination of field-based ecological and behavioural studies, computer simulations, natural isotopic analysis, and molecular phylogenetic and population genetic analyses.
We welcome students who like to study taxonomy and systematics, animal behaviour, ecology, biogeography, biodiversity informatics, related topics,and interdisciplinary studies combining these themes.

We conduct international research projects in collaboration with foreign institutions, including those of Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mongolia, Australia and France. So, graduate students may have opportunities to conduct their field work in these countries and areas, or elsewhere.

Through education of Asian students and young researchers, we aimto contribute to the advancement of biodiversity sciences in Asian countries and particularly in biodiversity hotspots.
Recent Publications
  1. Cronin AL, Monnin T, Sillam-Dussès D, Aubrun F, Fédérici P, Doums C (2016). Qualitative bias in offspring investment in a superorganism is linked to dispersal and nest inheritance. Animal Behaviour, 119, 1–9.
  2. Cronin AL (2016). Group-size advantages to decision making are environmentally contingent in house-hunting Myrmecina ants. Animal Behaviour, 118, 171–179.
  3. Cronin AL, Loeuille N, Monnin T (2016). Strategies of offspring investment and dispersal in a spatially structured environment: a theoretical study using ants. BMC Ecology, 16, 4.
  4. Cronin AL, Chifflet-Belle P, Fédérici P, Doums C (2016). High inter-colonial variation in nestmate relatedness and diverse social structure in a desert ant from Mongolia. Insectes Sociaux, 63, 87–98.
  5. Eguchi K, Mizuno R, Ito F, Satria R, Dang VA, Bui TV, Phung THL (2016). First Discovery of subdichthadiigyne in Yunodorylus Xu (Formicidae: Dorylinae). Revue suisse de Zoologie, 123, 307-314.
  6. Eguchi K, Bui TV, Oguri E, Yamane Sk (2016). The first discovery of the “Pheidole quadricuspis group” in the Indo-Chinese Peninsula (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Revue suisse de Zoologie, 123, 45–55.
  7. Kurushima H, Yoshimura J, Kim JK, Kim JK, Nishimoto Y, Sayama K, Kato M, Watanabe K, Hasegawa E, Roff DA, Shimizu A (2016). Co-occurrence of ecologically equivalent cryptic species of spider wasps. Royal Society Open Science, 3, 160119.
  8. Phung THL, Yamasaki T, Eguchi K (2016). Conspecificity of Phintella aequipeiformis Zabka, 1985 and P. lucai Zabka, 1985 (Araneae: Salticidae) confirmed by DNA barcoding. Revue suisse de Zoologie, 123, 283-290.
  9. Satria R, Sasaki O, Bui TV, Oguri E, Syoji K, Fisher BL, Yamane Sk, Eguchi K (2016). Description of the first Oriental species of the ant genus Xymmer (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyoponinae). Zootaxa, 4168, 141–150.
  10. Shimizu A, Wahis R, Harris A C, Pitts JP (2016). An extraordinary new genus and species of spider wasps (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Pompilidae) from Southeast Asia. Journal of Natural History, 50, 1549–1559.
  11. Sugawara T, Hiroki S, Shirai T, Nakaji M, Oguri E, Sueyoshi M, Shimizu A (2016). Morphological change of trapping flower Trichomes and flowering phenology associated with pollination of Aristolochia debilis (Aristolochiaceae) in Central Japan. Journal of the Japanese Botany, 91, 76–84.
  12. Sugawara T, Watanabe K, Takaso T, Tabata M, Shimizu A (2016). Incompatibility and pollination of distylous Psychotria serpens (Rubiaceae) in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Acta Phytotaxaomica et Geobotanica, 67, 7–15.
  13. Yamada A, Eguchi K (2016). Description of male genitalia of Pristomyrmex punctatus (Smith, 1860) (Hymenoptera,Formicidae ,Myrmicinae). Asian Myrmecology, 8, 1-8.
  14. Cronin AL, Donnerhack O, Seidel F, Yamanaka T (2015). Fine-scale variation in natural nitrogen isotope ratios of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 157, 354–359.
  15. Cronin AL (2015). Individual and group personalities characterise consensus-decision making in an ant. Ethology, 121, 703–713.
  16. Eguchi K, Bui TV, Yamane Sk, Terayama M (2015). Redefinition of the genus Bannapone and description of B. cryptica sp. nov. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyoponinae). Zootaxa, 4013, 77-86.
  17. Satria R, Kurushima H, Herwina H, Yamane Sk, Eguchi K (2015). The trap-jaw ant genus Odontomachus Latreille (hymenoptera: formicidae) from Sumatra, with a new species description. Zootaxa, 4048, 1–36.
  18. Shimizu A, Lelej AS, Loktionov VM (2015). Revision of the Palaearctic brood parasitic genus Nipponodipogon Ishikawa, 1965 of spider wasps (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae: Pepsinae), Zootaxa, 3948, 497–520.
  19. 庄司一貴, 江口克之 (2015). ムネボソアリ(アリ科:フタフシアリ亜科)の静止行動. ARI (Journal of the Myrmecological Society of Japan), 37, 39–46.
  20. 山ア健史 (2015). 東南アジアにおけるアリグモ属研究. Acta Arachnologica, 64, 49–56.
  21. Cronin AL, Stumpe MC (2014). Ants work harder during decision making in small groups. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 11(98), 20140641
  22. Cronin AL (2014). Ratio-dependent quantity discrimination in quorum sensing ants. Animal Cognition, 17, 1261–1268.
  23. Eguchi K, Bui TV, Yamane Sk (2014). Generic Synopsis of the Formicidae of Vietnam (Insecta: Hymenoptera),Part II―Cerapachyinae, Aenictinae, Dorylinae, Leptanillinae, Amblyoponinae, Ponerinae, Ectatomminae and Proceratiinae. Zootaxa, 3860, 1-46.
  24. Eguchi K, Bui TV, Oguri E, Maruyama M, Yamane Sk (2014) A new data of worker polymorphism in the ant genus Dorylus. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 17, 31-36.
  25. Niitsu S, Toga K, Tomizuka S, Maekawa K, Machida R, Kamito T (2014). Ecdysteroid-Induced Programmed Cell Death Is Essential for Sex-Specific Wing Degeneration of the Wingless-Female Winter Moth. PLOS ONE, 9 (2), e89435.
  26. Shimizu A, Dohzono I, Nakaji M, Roff D A, Miller III D G, Osato S, Yajima T, Niitsu S, Utsugi N, Sugawara T & Yoshimura J (2014). Fine-timed bee-flower coevolutionary state hidden within multiple pollination interactions. Scientific Reports, 4, 3988, doi:10.1038/srep03988 (9 pp).
  27. Watanabe, K., Shimizu, A. & Sugawara, T. 2014. Dioecy derived from distyly and pollination in Psychotria rubra (Rubiaceae) occurring in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Plant Species Biology, 29, 181-191.
  28. Cronin AL (2013). Synergy between pheromone trails and quorum responses underlies consensus decision making in an ant. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 67, 1643–1651.
  29. Cronin AL (2013). Conditional use of social and private information guides house-hunting ants. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e64668
  30. Cronin AL, Molet M, Doums C, Monnin T, Peeters C (2013). Recurrent evolution of dependent colony foundation across eusocial insects. Annual Review of Entomology, 58, 37–55
  31. Doums C, Cronin AL, Ruel C, Fédérici P, Haussy C, Tirard C, Monnin T (2013). Facultative use of thelytokous parthenogenesis in the polyandrous ant Cataglyphis cursor. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26, 1431–1444.
  32. Eguchi K, Widmer M, Oguri E, Fisher BL & Murakami N (2013). Discovery of cryptic species within Pheidole parva Mayr, 1865 (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae) widespread in the Indo-West Pacific. ARI (Journal of the Myrmecological Society of Japan), 35, 16-26.
  33. Bui TV, Eguchi K & Yamane Sk (2013). Revision of the ant genus Myrmoteras of the Indochinese Peninsula (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). Zootaxa, 3666, 544–558.
  34. Shimizu A, Wahis R (2013). Systematic studies on the Pompilidae occurring in Japan: Genus Platydialepis Haupt (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae:Pepsinae). Entomological Science, 16(2), 316–325.
  35. Cronin AL (2012). Consensus decision making in the ant Myrmecina nipponica: house-hunters combine pheromone trails with quorum responses. Animal Behaviour, 84, 1243–1251
  36. Cronin AL, Fédérici P, Doums C, Monnin T (2012). The influence of intraspecific competition on resource allocation during dependent colony foundation in a social insect. Oecologia, 168, 361–369
  37. Terayama M, Lin CC, Eguchi K (2012) Additions to Knowledge of the Ant Fauna of Taiwan (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Solenopsidini): Genera Anillomyrma and Carebara. Japanese Journal of Systematic Entomology, 18, 1-6.
  38. Shimizu A, Nishimoto Y, Makino S, Sayama K, Okabe K, Endo T (2012) Brood parasitism in two species of spider wasps (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae, Dipogon), with notes on a novel reproductive strategy. Journal of Insect Behavior, 17 pp.(電子版)
  39. Chéron B, Cronin AL, Doums C, Fédérici P, Haussy H, Tirard T, Monnin T (2011). Unequal resource allocation among colonies produced by fission in the ant Cataglyphis cursor. Ecology, 92, 1448–1458
  40. Cronin AL, Doums CD, Monnin T (2011). Opportunities for mate choice in the fission-performing ant Cataglyphis cursor. Ecological Entomology, 36, 522–525
  41. Cronin AL, Bridge C, Field JP (2011). Climatic correlates of temporal demographic variation in the tropical hover wasp Liostenogaster flavolineata. Insectes Sociaux, 58, 23–29
  42. Shimizu A, Wasbauer MS and Takami Y (2010) Phylogeny and the evolution of nesting behaviour in the tribe Ageniellini (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Pompilidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 160, 88–117.
  43. Cronin AL, Monnin T (2010). Self sacrifice in ‘desperado’ contests between relatives. Frontiers in Zoology, 7, 27. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-7-27
  44. Sugawara K, Kobayakawa M, Nishide M, Watanabe K, Tabata M, Yasuda K & Shimizu A (2010). Dioecy and pollination of Morinda umbellata subsp. umbellata (Rubiaceae) in the Ryukyu Islands. Acta Phytotaxonomica et Geobatanica, 61, 65–74.
  45. Cronin AL, Monnin T (2009). Bourgeois queens and high stakes games in the ant Aphenogaster senilis. Frontiers in Zoology, 6, 24. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-6-24
  46. Suzuki H, Kobayashi Y (2009). Embryogenesis of firefly: phylogenetic implication of the family Rhagophthalmidae. Proceedings of the International Symposium on “Diversity and Conservation of Fireflies”.
  47. Niikura K, Kobayashi Y, Hirasawa K, Inoda T (2009). A preliminary note on the embryonic development of a Diving Beetle, Hydaticus pacificus Aubé, (Insecta: Coleoptera, Dytiscidae). Proceedings of Arthropodan Embryological Society of Japan, 44, 41–43.
  48. Hashimoto N, Kobayashi Y (2009). Morphology of sternum V glands in the three caddisfly species, Stenopsyche marmorata, Eubasilissa regina, and Nemotaulius admorsus (Insecta: Trichoptera). Entomological Science, 12, 298–307.
  49. Shimizu A, Wahis R (2009). Systematic studies on the Pompilidae occurring in Japan: Genus Agenioideus Ashmead (Hymenoptera), supplement. Entomological Science, 12, 238–251.
  50. Kobayashi Y (2008). Relationships among endopterygotan orders: A comparative embryological approach. Proceedings of the Arthropodan Embryological Society of Japan, 43, 65–68.
  51. Niitsu S, Kobayashi Y (2008). The developmental process during metamorphosis that results in wing reduction in females of three species of wingless-legged moths, Taleporia thrichopterella, Bacotia sakabei and Proutia sp. (Lepidoptera: Psychidae). European Journal of Entomology, 105, 697–706.
  52. Takahashi H, Shimizu A, Nambu T (2008). Hymenoptera from the Ogasawara Islands in the collections of the Laboratory of Systematic Zoology, Tokyo Metropolitan University. Part 2. Ogasawara Research, 34, 1–7.
  53. Cronin AL, Field JP (2007). Social aggression in an age-dependent dominance hierarchy. Behaviour, 144, 753–765
  54. Cronin AL, Field JP (2007). Rank and colony defence against conspecifics in a facultatively eusocial hover wasp. Behavioural Ecology, 18, 331–336
  55. Shimizu A, Wahis R (2007). Systematic studies on the Pompilidae occurring in Japan: Genus Irenangelus Schulz (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae: Ceropalinae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 16, 311–325.
  56. Field JP, Cronin AL, Bridge C (2006). Future fitness and helping in social queues. Nature, 441, 214–217.
  57. Kobayashi Y (2006). Character phylogeny in lepidopteran embryogenesis: Its revaluation and issues to be resolved. Proceedings of Arthropodan Embryological Society of Japan, 41, 1–9.
  58. Kobayashi Y, Watanabe T, Suzuki H (2006) Embryonic development of the firefly Pyrocoelia rufa Olivier (Insecta: Coleoptera, Lampyridae) with special reference to its hibernal diapause. Proceedings of Arthropodan Embryological Society of Japan, 41, 47–53.
  59. Shimizu A (2006). Two new species of Dipogon (Deuteragenia) (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Pompilidae) from Subtropical islands of Japan. Species Diversity, 11, 347–358.
  60. Hirata M, Cronin AL, Kidokoro M, Azuma N (2005). Spatio-temporal variation in colony structure and eusociality of a sweat bee Lasioglossum (Evylaeus) duplex (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Ecological Research, 20, 75-80
  61. Shimizu A, Wahis R (2005). A new genus and species of Japanese Pompilinae (Hymenoptera, Pompilidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 14, 111–116.
  62. Shimizu A (2004). Natural history and behavior of a Japanese parasocial spider wasp, Machaerothrix tsushimensis (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 77: 383-401.
  63. Shimizu A, Wahis R (2004). Systematic study of the genus Cyphononyx (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae) occurring in Japan. Entomological Science, 7, 171–181.
  64. Kobayashi Y, Suzuki H, Ohba N (2003). Development of the pleuropodia in the embryo of the glowworm Rhagophthalmus ohbai Wittmer (Rhagophthalmidae, Coleoptera, Insecta) with comments on their probable function. Proceedings of Arthropodan Embryological Society of Japan, 38, 19–26.
  65. Kobayashi Y, Tanaka M, Ando H (2003). Embryology. In: Kristensen, N. P. (ed.), Handbuch der Zoologie, IV/35, Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies, Volume 2, Morphology, Physiology, and Development, Chapter 19. pp. 495–544, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.
  66. Shimizu A, Ishikawa R (2003). Taxonomic studies on the Pompilidae occurring in Japan north of the Ryukyus: Genus Dipogon, subgenus Deuteragenia (Hymenoptera) (Part 3). Entomological Science, 6, 165–181.
  67. Kobayashi Y, Suzuki H, Ohba N (2002). Embryogenesis of the glowworm Rhagophthalmus ohbai Wittmer (Insecta: Coleoptera, Rhagophthalmidae), with emphasis on the germ rudiment formation. Journal of Morphology, 253, 1–9.
  68. Shimizu A, Ishikawa R (2002) Taxonomic studies on the Pompilidae occurring in Japan north of the Ryukyus: Genus Dipogon, subgenus Deuteragenia (Hymenoptera) (Part 1). Entomological Science, 5, 219–235.
  69. Shimizu A, Ishikawa R (2002). Taxonomic studies on the Pompilidae occurring in Japan north of the Ryukyus: Genus Dipogon, subgenus Deuteragenia (Hymenoptera) (Part 2). Entomological Science, 5, 361–373.
  70. Kobayashi Y, Suzuki H, Ohba N (2001). Formation of a spherical germ rudiment in the glow-worm, Rhagophthalmus ohbai Wittmer (Coleoptera: Rhagophthalmidae), and its phylogenetic implications. Proceedings of Arthropodan Embryological Society of Japan, 36, 1–5.
©2015 Department of Biological Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University