Author(s): Winterton SL, Wiegmann BM, Schlinger EI
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Abstract The first formal analysis of phylogenetic relationships among small-headed flies (Acroceridae) is presented based on DNA sequence data from two ribosomal (16S and 28S) and two protein-encoding genes: carbomoylphosphate synthase (CPS) domain of CAD (i.e., rudimentary locus) and cytochrome oxidase I (COI). DNA sequences from 40 species in 22 genera of Acroceridae (representing all three subfamilies) were compared with outgroup exemplars from Nemestrinidae, Stratiomyidae, Tabanidae, and Xylophagidae. Parsimony and Bayesian simultaneous analyses of the full data set recover a well-resolved and strongly supported hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships for major lineages within the family. Molecular evidence supports the monophyly of traditionally recognised subfamilies Philopotinae and Panopinae, but Acrocerinae are polyphyletic. Panopinae, sometimes considered "primitive" based on morphology and host-use, are always placed in a more derived position in the current study. Furthermore, these data support emerging morphological evidence that the type genus Acrocera Meigen, and its sister genus Sphaerops, are atypical acrocerids, comprising a sister lineage to all other Acroceridae. Based on the phylogeny generated in the simultaneous analysis, historical divergence times were estimated using Bayesian methodology constrained with fossil data. These estimates indicate Acroceridae likely evolved during the late Triassic but did not diversify greatly until the Cretaceous.
This article was published in Mol Phylogenet Evol
and referenced in Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology