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World Syrphidae Phylogeny

Introduction | Collaborators |Projects|

Introduction

Syrphidae, also known as Flower Flies or Hover Flies, are arguably the most important family of Diptera pollinators. Larvae fill almost every conceivable ecological niche and include many important predators of known pests (particularly aphids and scale insects) and even a few pests in their own right (for example, some of the bulb feeders like Merodon and Eumerus). Most adult syrphids are either perfect or imperfect mimics, leading to significant interest in them by ecologists studying the evolution of mimicry. Whether interested in syrphids from a taxonomic or ecological point of view, a phylogeny is critical to understanding and making predictive comparisons within the lineage. Several preliminary hypotheses have been proposed with respect to Flower Fly relationships but none have undertaken to explore a large genetic dataset for a significant proportion of the world fauna. As a result, there are few robust species-level phylogenies available for ecologists to play with and even the higher classification of the family remains in flux. The current project aims to generate the most complete phylogeny for the family yet attempted and involve as many of the world's syrphid researchers as possible. If your name is not listed below and the project interests you, please contact Jeff Skevington.

The project includes four levels of analysis:

1. Obtain 5' COI data ('DNA barcodes') for as many of the world's syrphid species as possible. These data can be used to backfill multi-gene phylogenetic datasets if no additional genes can be obtained and are a useful starting point for species-level phylogenies of specific genera. In addition, a robust COI dataset will faciliate identification of all life stages whenever sequences are unique for a species (over 85% of the time). This means that larval identification and association of males and females of dimorphic species will be much easier than it has been historically, further promoting research on the family. To date, we have obtained COI barcode data for 1,551 species (25.9% of the World's 6,000 flower fly species) and 198 genera/subgenera (58.6% of the World's 338 genera). To open a google drive summary table of genera sequenced click here.

2. Obtain data for six core genes for as many of the world's species as possible (for everything that we can obtain fresh specimens in 95-100% alcohol). We have chosen the following genes for this part of the project: mitochondrial COI (entire gene) and nuclear 28S (D1/2 region), 18S, CAD (regions 1, 4 and 5), AATS and Period. These genes and gene regions were selected for several reasons: 1. 18S, 28S and COI have a considerable history of use within the family, so sequencing these genes allows us to link new data with published datasets. 2. Work on other Diptera families of similar age has found these genes to be informative (CAD, AATS). 3. Period shows promise within other orders of insects. 4. Rather than sequence entire genes, the regions we have chosen are are easier to amplify than other regions and have been found to be informative at different levels (i.e. they evolve at different rates). To date, we have obtained multi-gene data for 513 species (8.6% of the World's flower fly species) and 144 genera (42.6% of the World's syrphid genera). To open a google drive summary table of genera sequenced click here. To see a google drive overview document summarizing which genes have been completed along with the actual species list, click here.

3. Obtain anchored phylogenetic data for as many generic-level groups of syrphids as possible. Preliminary results show that we can obtain data for over 200 genes per taxon and produce phylogenetic hypotheses with extremely high levels of support. To date, we have obtained a small preliminary anchored phylogeny dataset for 28 genera of syrphids. To open a google drive summary table of genera sequenced click here. To see a google drive overview document summarizing the species that have been sequenced, click here.

4. Obtain transcriptome data for as many putative tribes of syrphids as possible. Transcriptome data should theoretically produce the highest level of support possible short of complete genome sequencing. Hypotheses produced using these data should provide us with a robust and lasting phylogeny on which to base the higher classification for the family. To date, we have obtained transcriptomes for 10 genera of syrphids. To open a google drive summary table of genera sequenced click here. To see a google drive overview document summarizing the species that have been sequenced, click here.

Collaborators
Name Affiliation Contact
Jeffrey H. Skevington (co-PI) Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Ottawa, Canada jhskevington@gmail.com
Ximo Mengual (co-PI) Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany x.mengual@zfmk.de
Anatolij Barkalov Siberian Zoological Museum, Novosibirsk, Russia bark@eco.nsc.ru
Sander Bot The Netherlands sanderbot@yahoo.co.uk
Dieter Dozckal Zoologische Staatssammlung München, Germany dieter.doczkal@gmail.com
Maarten de Groot Slovenian Forestry Insitute, Ve─Źna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia maarten.degroot@gozdis.si
Jiri Hadrava Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic HadravaJirka@seznam.cz
Martin Hauser California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, California, USA martin.hauser@cdfa.ca.gov
Kurt Jordaens Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium kurt.jordaens@africamuseum.be
Scott Kelso Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Ottawa, Canada scott.kelso@agr.gc.ca
Alan Lemmon Department of Biological Science, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA alemmon@evotutor.org
Emily Lemmon Department of Biological Science, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA chorusfrog@bio.fsu.edu
Michelle Locke American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA mlocke@amnh.org
Gil Miranda Museu da Amazônia, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Brazil gilfgm@gmail.com
Augusto Montoya University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico guto.spider@yahoo.com
Mirian Morales Universidade Federal de Lavras, Programa de Pós-graduação em Agronomia/Entomologia, Brazil mirian_nm@yahoo.com.br
Kevin Moran Smithsonian Institution, Washington, USA kevinmoran88@comcast.net
Chris Palmer United Kingdom chrisyrph@aol.com
Gerard Pennards Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands gerard_pennards@hotmail.com
Snezana Radenkovic Centre for Balkan Biodiversity Conservation, Novi Sad, Serbia snezana.radenkovic@dbe.uns.ac.rs
Menno Reemer Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands menno.reemer@ncbnaturalis.nl
Santos Rojo Universidad de Alicante, Spain santos.rojo@ua.es
John Smit Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands john.smit@ncbnaturalis.nl
Daniele Sommaggio University of Bologna, School of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Italy dsommaggio@tiscali.it
Axel Ssymank Germany ssymanka@t-online.de
Gunilla Ståhls Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, Finland gunilla.stahls@helsinki.fi
Jeroen van Steenis The Netherlands jvansteenis1@gmail.com
Wouter van Steenis The Netherlands w.v.steenis@casema.nl
F. Christian Thompson Smithsonian Institution, Washington, USA ThompsonF@si.edu
Ante Vujic Centre for Balkan Biodiversity Conservation, Novi Sad, Serbia ante.vujic@dbe.uns.ac.rs
Andrew Young Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Ottawa, Canada a.d.young@gmail.com
Menno van Zuijen The Netherlands mennopepijn@gmail.com

Projects
Project Project leader Primary collaborators
Overall Syrphidae phylogeny Jeff Skevington Andrew Young, Ximo Mengual, Gunilla Ståhls, Scott Kelso
Eristalinae phylogeny Gunilla Ståhls Mirian Morales, Santos Rojo, Celeste Pérez-Bañón, Jeff Skevington
Microdontinae phylogeny Menno Reemer Gunilla Ståhls
Allograpta s.l. phylogeny (incl. Sphaerophoria) Ximo Mengual Gunilla Ståhls, Santos Rojo, Axel Ssymank
Asiobaccha phylogeny Ximo Mengual  
Bacchini phylogeny Andrew Young Ximo Mengual, Jeff Skevington
Brachyopa phylogeny Jeroen van Steenis Gunilla Ståhls, Santos Rojo, Jeff Skevington
Cheilosia phylogeny Gunilla Ståhls Ante Vujic, Jeff Skevington
Chrysotoxum phylogeny Daniele Sommaggio Jeff Skevington, Ante Vujic
Eumerus phylogeny Ante Vujic Snezana Radenkovic, Dieter Dozckal, Martin Hauser
Eupeodes-Scaeva group phylogeny Ximo Mengual Gunilla Ståhls, Santos Rojo
Merodon phylogeny Gunilla Ståhls Ante Vujic, Snezana Radenkovic
Paragus phylogeny Gunilla Ståhls Ante Vujic, Ximo Mengual, Santos Rojo, Axel Ssymank
Salpingogaster / Eosalpingogaster phylogeny Ximo Mengual Santos Rojo, Evelin Arcaya, Celeste Pérez-Bañón
Syrphus phylogeny Ximo Mengual Santos Rojo, Evelin Arcaya

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This page last updated on 07-Aug-2015

CNC Diptera web page development
Dr. J.H. Skevington


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes
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