deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Asiloid Flies
deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Sample of Asiloid Flies

Phylogenetic relationships within Apioceridae & Mydidae

The earliest work that dealt with a systematisation of the Mydidae is that of Bequaert (1963). He divided the family taxon into three subfamily taxa on the basis of the shape of the aedeagus, i.e., Diochlistinae, Mydinae, and Syllegomydinae.

Between 1961 and 1974 a number of new genera were described by various authors. In summarising the knowledge on the Mydidae Papavero & Wilcox (1974) proposed a new classification of the Mydidae dividing it into nine subfamily taxa. Of these, five were described as new and the other one was described by the same authors in 1971 (Wilcox & Papavero), i.e., Anomalomydinae, Apiophorinae, Cacatuopyginae, Ectyphinae, Leptomydinae, and Rhopaliinae.

More recently, Yeates & Irwin (1996) investigated the Apioceridae and found that the family as formerly conceived was paraphyletic in respect to the Mydidae. They transferred four genera placed in two subfamily taxa to the Mydidae, i.e., Megascelinae and Rhaphiomidinae, leaving only the single genus Apiocera with its four subgenera in the Apioceridae.

Competing hypotheses about the phylogenetic relationships of these taxa exist and are illustrated in the image gallery.

For the phylogenetic relationships within Asiloidea see here.

In an effort to investigate the phylogenetic relationships among Apioceridae, Asilidae, & Mydidae with new data, Torsten Dikow is currently seeking to obtain specimens for molecular studies. The lists of species for which specimens are currently available can be found here. A list of Asilidae species can be found here.