Wilson, J.S., & Carril, O.J.M. 2015. The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees. Princeton University Press. --(Winner of 2017 PROSE Award for best single volume reference/science book).--

Peer-reviewed Publications (Indicates undergraduate coauthor, ** Indicates graduate student coauthor)

Published and in press papers

In Press

Wilson, J. S., Pan, A.D., General, D.E.M., & Koch, J.B. In review. More eyes on the prize: an observation of a very rare, threatened species of Philippine Bumble bee, Bombus irisanensis, on iNaturalist and the importance of citizen science in conservation biology. Journal of Insect Conservation.


Pan, A.D. and Wilson, J.S., 2020. A scientific note on the behavior of the endangered Anthricinan yellow-faced bee (Hylaeus anthracinus) from South Kohala District, Hawai ‘i, Hawai ‘i. Apidologie, pp.1-4.

Anzaldo, S.S., Wilson, J.S. and Franz, N.M., 2020. Phenotypic analysis of aposematic conoderine weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Conoderinae) supports the existence of three large mimicry complexes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 


Waichert, C., Wilson, J.S., Pitts, J.P. and von Dohlen, C.D., 2019. Phylogenetic species delimitation for the widespread spider wasp Ageniella accepta (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae), with new synonyms. Insect Systematics & Evolution1(aop), pp.1-18.


Wilson, J. S., Kelly, M., & Carril, O. M. (2018).Reducing protected lands in a hotspot of bee biodiversity: bees of GrandStaircase-Escalante National Monument. PeerJ, 6, e6057.

Carril, O. M., Griswold,T., Haefner, J., & Wilson, J. S. (2018). Wild bees of GrandStaircase-Escalante National Monument: richness, abundance, and spatio-temporalbeta-diversity. PeerJ, 6, e5867

Wilson, J. S., Pan, A. D., Limb, E. S.*, & Williams, K.A.(2018). Why are North American velvet ants more colorful? EnvironmentalScience Journal for Teens. (

Badik, K. J., Jahner, J. P., & Wilson, J. S. (2018). A biogeographic perspective on the evolution of fire syndromes in pine trees(Pinus: Pinaceae). Royal Society open science, 5,172412.

Gall, B. G., Spivey, K. L.,Chapman, T. L., Delph, R. J., Brodie, E. D., & Wilson, J. S. (2018).The indestructible insect: velvet ants from across the United States avoid predation by representatives from all major tetrapod clades. Ecology and Evolution. 2018, 1-11.

Sadler, E.A.**, Pitts, J.P., & Wilson, J.S. 2018. Stinging wasps (Hymenoptera: Aculeata), which species have the longest sting? Peer J. 6:e4743.

Wilson, J.S.  Pan, A.D., Limb, E.S.*, and Williams, K.A. 2018. Comparison of African and North American velvet ant mimicry complexes: Another example of Africa as the ‘odd man out’PLOS One. 13: e0189482.


Jahner, J.P., Forister, M.L., Parchman, T.L., Smilanich, A.M., Miller, Wilson, J.S., Walla, T.R., Tepe, E.J., Richards, L.A., Quijano-Abril, M.A., Glassmire, A.E., & Dyer, L.A. 2017. Host conservatism, geography, and elevation in the evolution of a Neotropical moth radiation. Evolution71, 2885-2900.

Wilson, J.S. 2017 Promoting critical thinking in general biology courses: the case of the white widow spiderJournal on Empowering Teaching Excellence, 1, 53-61.

Sadler, E.A.**, Pitts, J.P., & Wilson, J.S. 2017. Faunal Study of the Nocturnal Aculeate Wasps (Hymenoptera) of the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of Joshua Tree National Park. Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Wilson,J.S., Forister, M.L. & Carril, O.M., 2017.Interest exceeds understanding in public support of bee conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15, 460-466.

Sadler, E. A.**, Pitts, J. P., & Wilson, J. S. 2017. NocturnalVelvet Ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of Joshua Tree National Park, RiversideCounty, California with the description of three new species. Zootaxa, 4319, 329–367.

Hines, H. M., Witkowski, P.,Wilson, J. S., & Wakamatsu, K. 2017. Melanic variation underlies aposematic color diversification in two hymenopteran mimicry systems. PLoS ONE, 12, e0182135.

Glassmire, A. E., Jahner, J.P., Badik, K. J., Forister, M. L., Smilanich, A. M., Dyer, L. A., & Wilson,J. S. (2017). The soil mosaic hypothesis: a synthesis of multi-trophic diversification via soil heterogeneity. Ideas in Ecology and Evolution, 10, 20-26,

Pan, A. D., Williams, K. A.,& Wilson, J. S. (2017). Are diurnal iguanian lizards the evolutionary drivers of New World female velvet ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae)Müllerian mimicry rings? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 120,436-447.


Wilson, J. S., Jahner, J. P., Starley, L.,* Calvin, C. L.,* Ikerd,H., & Griswold, T. (2016). Sampling bee communities using pan traps:alternative methods increase sample size. Journal of Insect Conservation, 20,919-922.

Wilson, J. S., Jahner, J. P., & Forister, M. L. (2016). Human observers differ in ability to perceive insect diversity. EnvironmentalConservation, 43, 376-380.

Glassmire, A. E., Jeffrey, C. S., Forister, M. L.,Parchman, T. L., Nice, C. C., Jahner, J. P., Wilson, J. S., Walla, T. R., Richards, L. A., Smilanich, A. M.,& Leonard, M. D. (2016). Intraspecific phytochemical variation shapes community and population structure for specialist caterpillars. New Phytologist, 212, 208-219.


Smith, A.D., J.S. Wilson, andA.I. Cognato. 2015. The evolution of Batesian mimicry within the asidine darkling beetles of NorthAmerican (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Asidini). Cladistics. 31: 441-454.

Jahner, J.P., M.L. Forister, C.C. Nice, J.A. Fordyce, J.S.Wilson, D.D. Murphy, Z.H. Marion, and A.M. Shapiro. 2015.Regional population differentiation in the morphologically diverse, elevationally widespread Nearctic skipper Polites sabuleti. Journal of Biogeography. 42: 1787-1799.

Wilson, J.S., J.P. Jahner, M.L. Forister, E.S. Sheehan*, K.A. Williams, and J.P. Pitts. 2015. North American velvet ants form one of the world’s largest known Müllerian mimicry complexes. Current Biology. 25: R704–R706. [supplemental dataAssociated Current Biology cover image on the right.

Gompert, Z., J.P. Jahner, C.F. Scholl, J.S. Wilson, L.K. Lucas, V. Soria-Carrasco, J.A. Fordyce, C.C. Nice, C.A. Buerkle, and M.L. Forister.  2015.  The evolution of novel host use is unlikely to be constrained by tradeoffs or a lack of genetic variation. Molecular Ecology. 24: 2777-2793.

Jahner, J.P., L.K. Lucas, J.S. Wilson, and M.L. Forister. 2015. Morphological outcomes of gynandromorphism in Lycaeides butterflies. Journal of Insect Science. 15 (38): DOI: 10.1093/jisesa/iev020


Rodriguez, J., J.P. Pitts, C.D. von Dohlen, and J.S. Wilson. 2014. Müllerian mimicry as a result of codivergence between velvet ants and spider wasps.  PLoS ONE. 9: e112942.

Wilson, J.S., O. Messinger Carril, and S.D. Sipes. 2014Revisiting the Great American Biotic Interchange through analyses of amphitropical bees. Ecography 37: 791-796.


Mramba,L., S. Barber, K. Hommola, L. Dyer, J.S. Wilson, M.L. Forister, and W.R.Gilks.  2013. Permutationtests for analyzing cospeciation in multiple phylogenies: application intri-trophic ecology. Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology.12: 679-701.

Wilson, J.S., M. Sneck*, D.D. Murphy, C.C. Nice, J.A. Fordyce, and M.L. Forister. 2013Complex evolutionary history of the pallid dotted-blue butterfly (Lycaenidae:Euphilotes pallescens) in the Great Basin of western North America. Journal of Biogeography40: 2059-2070. Associated Journal of Biogeography cover image on the right.

Wilson, J.S.C.F. Gunnell*, D.B. Wahl, and J.P. Pitts. 2013. Testing the species limits of the tarantulas (Araneae: Theraphosidae) endemic to California’s Southern Coast Ranges, U.S.A. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 6: 365-371.

Forister, M.L., and J.S. Wilson. 2013. The population ecology of novel plant-herbivore interactions. Oikos. 122: 657-666.

Forister, M.L., C.F. Scholl, J.P. Jahner,  J.S. Wilson, J.A. Fordyce, Z. Gompert, D. Narala, C.A. Buerkle, and C.C. Nice.  2013. Specificity, rank preference and the colonization of a non-native host plant by the Melissa blue butterfly. Oecologia.172: 177–188.

Wilson, J.S., J.P. Jahner, K.A. Williams, and M.L. Forister. 2013. Ecological and evolutionary processes drive the origin and maintenance of imperfect mimicry.  PLoS ONE. 8: e61610.

Wilson, J.S., C.D. von Dohlen, M.L. Forister and J.P. Pitts. 2013. Family-level divergences in the stinging wasps (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) with correlations to Angiosperm diversification. Evolutionary Biology. 40: 101-107.


Wilson, J.S., and J.P. Pitts. 2012Identifying Pleistocene refugia in North American cold deserts using phylogeographic analyses and ecological niche modelling. Diversity and Distributions. 18: 1139-1152.

Wilson, J.S., K.A. Williams, M.L. Forister, C.D. von Dohlen, and J.P. Pitts. 2012. Repeated evolution in overlapping mimicry rings among North American velvet ants. Nature Communications. 3: 1272.

Wilson, J.S., M.L. Forister, L.A. Dyer, J.M. O’Connor, K. Burls, C.R. Feldman, M.A. Jaramillo, J.S. Miller, G. Rodríguez-Castañeda, E.J. Tepe, J.B. Whitfield, and B. Young*. 2012Host conservatism, host shifts and diversification across three trophic levels in two Neotropical forests. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 25: 532-546.

Wilson, J.S., S.L. Clark*, K.A. Williams and J.P. Pitts. 2012. Historical biogeography of the arid-adapted velvet ant Sphaeropthalma arota (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) reveals cryptic species. Journal of Biogeography. 39: 336-352.


Forister, M.L, J.P. Jahner, K.L. Casner, J.S. Wilson, and A.M. Shapiro. 2011. The race is not to the swift: a long-term dataset reveals pervasive declines in California’s low-elevation butterfly fauna. Ecology. 92. 2222-2235.

Wilson, J.S., and J.P. Pitts. 2011. Pleistocene connection between the Nearctic’s Mediterranean and desert regions in the Sphaeropthalma unicolor species-complex (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Insect Conservation and Diversity4: 222-234.

Wilson, J.S., and B.G. Gall. 2011. Thamnophis elegans (Terrestrial Gartersnake) feeding behavior, prey subjugation by drowning. Herpetological Review. 42: 103.


Wilson, J.S., and J.P. Pitts. 2010. Phylogeographic analysis of the nocturnal velvet ant genus Dilophotopsis (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) provides insights into diversification in the Nearctic deserts. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 101: 360-375.

Wilson, J.S., and J.P. Pitts. 2010. Illuminating the lack of consensus among descriptions of earth history data in the North American deserts: A resource for biologists. Progress in Physical Geography. 34: 419-441.

Pitts, J.P., J.S. Wilson, and C. von Dohlen. 2010. Evolution of the nocturnal Nearctic Sphaeropthalminae velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) driven by Neogene orogeny and Pleistocene glaciation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 56: 134-145.

Wilson, J.S., and J.P. Pitts. 2010. Pleistocene diversification of the Odontophotopsis unicornis species-group (Hymentoptera: Mutillidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 103: 555-565.

Wilson, J.S., K.A. Williams, C.F. Gunnell* and J.P. Pitts. 2010. Phylogeographic investigations of the widespread, arid-adapted antlion Brachynemurus sackeni Hagen (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae). Psyche: A Journal of Entomology. 2010: 1-7.

Pitts, J.P., J.S. Wilson, K.A. Williams, and N.F. Boehme. 2010. Nocturnal velvet ant males (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of Deep Canyon, California including four new species and a fifth new species from Owens Lake Valley, California. Zootaxa. 2553: 1-34.

Wilson, J.S., K.A. Williams, D.A. Tanner and J.P. Pitts. 2010. Nectaring by nocturnal velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). The Southwestern Naturalist. 55: 443-444.

Wilson, J.S. 2010 Aspidoscelis tigris (Western Whiptail) Diet. Herpetological Review. 41: 490-491.

Wilson, J.S., K.A. Williams and J.P. Pitts. 2010. Preliminary assessment of velvet ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) diversity in the deserts of Southern California. Western North American Naturalist. 70: 224-232.

Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, U.S.A., with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist. 70: 198-207.


Wilson, J.S., and S. Topham. 2009. The negative effects of barrier fencing on the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and non-target species: Is there room for improvement? Contemporary Herpetology. 2009 (3): 1-4.

Wilson, J.S., J.P. Pitts and C. von Dohlen. 2009. Lack of variation in nuclear genes among isolated populations of the sand dune restricted bee Colletes stepheni (Hymenoptera: Colletidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 82: 316-320.

Wilson, J.S., and S. Topham. 2009. Gopherus agassizii (Desert Tortoise) Mortality. Herpetological Review. 40: 335-336.

Pitts, J.P. and J.S. Wilson. 2009. Description of the female of Acrophotopsis (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) with synonymy of Sphaeropthalma dirce. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 18: 205-211.

Wilson, J.S., and J.P. Pitts. 2009. Species boundaries of Sphaeropthalma unicolor (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae): Is color useful for differentiating species? Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 18: 212-226.

Pitts, J.P., J.S. Wilson, K.A. Williams, and N.F. Boehme. 2009. Velvet Ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of the Algodones Sand Dunes of California, USA. Zootaxa. 2131: 1-53.

Wilson, J.S., O. Messinger and T. Griswold. 2009. Variation between bee communities on a sand dune complex in the Great Basin Desert, North America: Implications for sand dune conservation. Journal of Arid Environments. 73: 666-671.


Wilson, J.S., T. Griswold, and O. Messinger. 2008. Sampling bee communities (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) in a desert landscape: Are pan traps sufficient? Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 81: 288-300.

Wilson, J.S., and J.P. Pitts. 2008. Revision of Velvet Ant Genus Dilophotopsis Schuster (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) by Using Molecular and Morphological Data, with Implications for Desert Biogeography. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 101: 514-524.


Wilson, J.S., and J.P. Pitts. 2007. New host associations for new world spider wasps (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 80: 223-229.

Pitts, J.P., J.S. Wilson, and F.D. Parker. 2007. The Spider Wasps of Fiji (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae). In: Evenhuis, N.L. & Bickel, D.J. (eds.), Fiji Arthropods VII. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 91: 3-15.

Research Reports

Wilson, J.S., and J.P. Pitts. 2009. Biodiversity and endemism in velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of the Madrean Sky Islands: progress report. Submitted to the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History.

Wilson, J.S., K.A. Williams, and J.P. Pitts. 2008. Endemism and diversity in velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of the southern California deserts. Final Report submitted to the California Desert Research Fund at The Community Foundation of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Wilson, J.S., L. Wilson, O. Messinger, and T. Griswold. 2006. Bees of the Okanogan National Forest, Tonasket Ranger District. Final Report submitted to The Okanogan National Forest, Tonasket Ranger District.

Wilson, J.S., O. Messinger, and T. Griswold. 2005. The Bees of Dugway Proving Grounds. Final Report submitted to The Dugway Proving Grounds.

Wilson, J.S., O. Messinger, and T. Griswold. 2003. The Bees of Dugway Proving Grounds. Annual Report submitted to The Dugway Proving Grounds.