3D-renders of heads of Protanilla lini (left) and Tatuidris tatusia (right) two unusual ant species.

Adrian Richter

PhD student
3D-renders of heads of Protanilla lini (left) and Tatuidris tatusia (right) two unusual ant species.
Image: Adrian Richter
Adrian Richter Adrian Richter Image: Dr. Brendon Boudinot

Contact

Adrian Richter

Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Institute of Zoology and Evolutionary Research
Phyletisches Museum
Vor dem Neutor 1 (room 206)
07743 Jena
Germany

Tel.: +49 3641 9-49181
adrian.richter@uni-jena.de

Research Interest

I am an entomologist focusing ants and other hymenopterans. The research areas I am most interested in are insect morphology and evolution, as well as systematics and taxonomy. The main goal of all my research is to understand the phenotypic evolution of insects and how it shaped their past and present diversity.

Research Topics

I started my scientific work studying the morphology of female Strepsiptera. After this, I have mostly focused on the ant head and investigated this in several publications focusing on head anatomy of one or a few species. As a next step, I expanded this to analyze character evolution of ants and other Aculeata more widely to reconstruct the morphological ground plan and character transitions within the Formicidae. I have also contributed to studies on the functional morphology of ants and morphology of other Hymenoptera. Recently, I have also started incorporating paleontology in my work, investigating the anatomy of fossil ant species. In the future, I want to study morphological evolution in ants from a macroevolutionary perspective.

Research Methods

  • µCT scanning and 3D reconstruction
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Histology
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Ancestral state reconstruction
Anatomy of the blind, underground ant species Protanilla lini, showing the antennal musculature (A, B) and mandibular musculature as well as mandibular gland (C, D). Colors: grey – cuticle, red/ orange – muscles, purple – gland. From Richter et al. 2021, Myrmecological News, published open access. Anatomy of the blind, underground ant species Protanilla lini, showing the antennal musculature (A, B) and mandibular musculature as well as mandibular gland (C, D). Colors: grey – cuticle, red/ orange – muscles, purple – gland. From Richter et al. 2021, Myrmecological News, published open access. Image: Adrian Richter

Short CV

Education

02/2019 – present         PhD student, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Project title: »The Evolution of ant head morphology«. Supervisor: Rolf G. Beutel

10/2016 – 09/2018       MSc in Evolution, Ecology and Systematics, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

10/2013 – 09/2016       BSc in Biology, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Scientific appointments

03/2019 – 08/2019       »Visiting Research Student«, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan, Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit. Supervisor: Evan P. Economo

Professionel experience

15.01.1020 – present    Technical assistant, Max-Planck Institute for human history, Jena
Operate µCT scanner and 3D-printer

15.01.2018 – 02/2019   Student assistant, Max-Planck Institute for human history, Jena
Operate µCT scanner and 3D-printer

10/2016 – 11/2016       Student assistant, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Assistent in a project on beetle head morphology

Scholarships and awards

01/2020 – present        Monthly scholarship of the »Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst ev.«
(1420 € monthly)

11/2021           President’s price of the Entomological Society of America for the best student presentation at the yearly meeting 2021 (75$)

09/2020           Frontiers in Zoology Award 2019 for the best student presentation at the meeting of the DZG 2019 (300€)

09/2020           Price of the German Zoological Association for the best zoological master thesis 2019 (100€)

Media

22.02.2022       Division of labour in ants goes back over 100 million years. idw scientific information service.

08.04.2021       Open wide! What mandibles can teach us about ant evolution. Myrmecological News Blog.

02.09.2020       »Comparaison anatomique des têtes de deux espèces de fourmis: Formica et Brachyponera« Article on passion-entomologie.fr, summarizing the results of Richter et al. 2020

Scientific Reviewer

Arthropod Structure & Development; Bioinspiration & biomimetics; Biological Journal of the Linnean Society; Bulletin of Insectology; Insectes Sociaux; Science advances; Zoologischer Anzeiger.

Publications

(please see GoogleScholar for latest and use ResearchGate for full-text requests)

Aibekova, L., Boudinot, B.E., Beutel, R.G., Richter, A., Keller, R.A., Hita-Garcia, F., Economo, E.P., 2022. The skeletomuscular system of the mesosoma of Formica rufa workers (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insect. Syst. Divers. 6, 1–26. https://doi.org/10.1093/isd/ixac002

Boudinot, B.E., Moosdorf, O.T.D., Beutel, R.G., Richter, A., 2021. Anatomy and evolution of the head of Dorylus helvolus (Formicidae: Dorylinae): Patterns of sex‐and caste‐limited traits in the sausagefly and the driver ant. J.Mor. 282, 1616–1658.

Richter, A., Hita Garcia, F., Keller, R.A., Billen, J., Katzke, J., Boudinot, B.E., Economo, E.P., Beutel, R.G., 2021. The head anatomy of Protanilla lini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Leptanillinae), with a hypothesis of their mandibular movement. Myrmecol. News 31, 85–114.

Richter, A., Schoeters, E., Billen, J., 2021. Morphology and closing mechanism of the mandibular gland orifice in ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Morph 282, 1127–1140.

Wöhrl, T., Richter, A., Guo, S., Reinhardt, L., Nowotny, M., Blickhan, R., 2021. Comparative analysis of a geometric and an adhesive righting strategy against toppling in inclined hexapedal locomotion. J. Exp. Biol. 224, jeb242677.

Beutel, R.G., Richter, A., Keller, R.A., Hita Garcia, F., Matsumura, Y., Economo, E.P., Gorb, S.N., 2020. Distal leg structures of the Aculeata (Hymenoptera): A comparative evolutionary study of Sceliphron (Sphecidae) and Formica (Formicidae). J.Mor. 281, 737–753.

Richter, A., Garcia, F.H., Keller, R.A., Billen, J., Economo, E.P., Beutel, R.G., 2020. Comparative analysis of worker head anatomy of Formica and Brachyponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Arthr. Syst. Phyl. 78, 133–170.

Pohl, H., Hammel, J.U., Richter, A., Beutel, R.G., 2019. The first fossil free-living late instar larva of Strepsiptera (Insecta). Arthr. Syst. Phyl. 77, 125–140.

Liu, S.-P., Richter, A., Stoessel, A., Beutel, R.G., 2019. The mesosomal anatomy of Myrmecia nigrocincta workers and evolutionary transformations in Formicidae (Hymenoptera). Arthr. Syst. Phyl. 77, 1–19.

Richter, A., Keller, R.A., Rosumek, F.B., Economo, E.P., Hita Garcia, F., Beutel, R.G., 2019. The cephalic anatomy of workers of the ant species Wasmannia affinis (Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta) and its evolutionary implications. Arthropod Struct. Dev. 49, 26–49.

Wipfler, B., Kočárek, P., Richter, A., Boudinot, B., Bai, M., Beutel, R.G., 2019. Structural features and life habits of †Alienoptera (Polyneoptera, Dictyoptera, Insecta). Palaeoentomology 2, 465–473.

Beutel, R.G., Yan, E., Richter, A., Büsse, S., Miller, K.B., Yavorskaya, M., Wipfler, B., 2017. The head of Heterogyrus milloti (Coleoptera: Gyrinidae) and its phylogenetic implications. Arthr. Syst. Phyl. 75, 261–280.

Richter, A., Wipfler, B., Beutel, R.G., Pohl, H., 2017. The female cephalothorax of Xenos vesparum Rossi, 1793 (Strepsiptera: Xenidae). Arthr. Syst. Phyl. 75, 327–347.

Conference Abstracts

11/2021    A glimpse into Cretaceous ant cephalic anatomy The head of †Gerontoformica from Burmese amber (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). 12 minutes talk at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (online).

09/2021   A glimpse into Cretaceous ant cephalic anatomy The head of †Gerontoformica from Burmese amber (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). 6 minutes talk at the annual meeting of the German Zoological Association (online).

02/2021    Morphology and closing mechanism of the mandibular gland orifice in ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). 12 minutes talk at the 2. Young Reasearcher Meeting Morphology of the German Zoological Association (online)

09/2019    The Evolution of Head Morphology in Ants: Analysis of an Understudied Character Complex. Two 12 minutes talks at the annual meeting of the German Zoological Association in Jena and the Dresden meeting on insect phylogeny, Dresden, Germany.