Start Date: Aug 01, 2005
End Date: May 20, 2010
Scientists make use of a number of microscopy techniques (scanning electron microscopy, phase-contrast compound microscopy, standard dissection microscopy, and auto montage systems to assess homology and variation in structural characteristics. Specimens are examined whole or disarticulated. Measurements and the calculation of basic statistical data are often an important part of this phase of the research. The examination of so-called "type" specimens is critical to revisionary Cladistic analysis is currently the most widely accepted method of phylogenetic reconstruction because of the explicit nature in which data are presented and analyzed, and the logical way of using characters in the phylogenetic reconstructions. Pertinent data will be collected and coded in matrices that will enable easy comparison among taxa for character state changes. In addition to morphological/anatomical characters, host plant and prey preferences, as well as other bionomic information, will be mined from museum collections and the literature. The analysis of any sizeable dataset is usually facilitated by the use of one or more computer programs such as Hennig86, and PAUP.