TreePics: visualizing trees with pictures

Nicolas Puillandre, Julien Brisset, Simon Chagnoux, Etienne Cavillier


While many programs are available to edit phylogenetic trees, associating pictures with branch tips in an efficient and automatic way is not an available option. Here, we present TreePics, a standalone software that uses a web browser to visualize phylogenetic trees in Newick format and that associates pictures (typically, pictures of the voucher specimens) to the tip of each branch. Pictures are visualized as thumbnails and can be enlarged by a mouse rollover. Further, several pictures can be selected and displayed in a separate window for visual comparison. TreePics works either online or in a full standalone version, where it can display trees with several thousands of pictures (depending on the memory available). We argue that TreePics can be particularly useful in a preliminary stage of research, such as to quickly detect conflicts between a DNA-based phylogenetic tree and morphological variation, that may be due to contamination that needs to be removed prior to final analyses, or the presence of species complexes.


phylogenetic trees; voucher pictures; DNA barcoding; computer program

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