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The Evolutionary Biology of Flies

The Evolutionary Biology of Flies

David K. Yeates
Brian M. Wiegmann
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 440
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  • Book Info
    The Evolutionary Biology of Flies
    Book Description:

    Flies ( Dipteria) have had an important role in deepening scientists'understanding of modern biology and evolution. The study of flies has figured prominently in major advances in the fields of molecular evolution, physiology, genetics, phylogenetics, and ecology over the last century. This volume, with contributions from top scientists and scholars in the field, brings together diverse aspects of research and will be essential reading for entomologists and fly researchers.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50170-5
    Subjects: Zoology, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-x)

    • CHAPTER ONE Phylogenetic Position of Diptera: Review of the Evidence
      (pp. 3-13)
      Michael F. Whiting

      Deciphering phylogenetic relationships among insect orders has challenged entomologists for well over two centuries. The monophyly of the majority of the 30-plus insect orders is well established via morphological characters (Hennig 1981; Kristensen 1991) and more recently by DNA sequence information (Whiting et al. 1997; Wheeler et al. 2001), indicating that these are natural groupings. Insect orders which have been established as being nonmonophyletic include Psocodea (book lice), which is paraphyletic with respect to Phthiraptera (true lice); Mecoptera (scorpionflies), which is paraphyletic with respect to Siphonaptera (fleas); Blattodea (roaches), which is paraphyletic with respect to termites; and probably Zygentoma, which...

    • CHAPTER TWO Phylogeny and Evolution of Diptera: Recent Insights and New Perspectives
      (pp. 14-44)
      David K. Yeates and Brian M. Wiegmann

      The insect order Diptera (the true flies) is one of the most species-rich, anatomically varied, and ecologically innovative groups of organisms, making up 10–15% of known animal species. An estimated 150,000 species of Diptera have been described (Groombridge 1992; Thompson 2004); however, the actual total number of extant fly species is many times that number. The living dipteran species have been classified into about 10,000 genera, 150 families, 22–32 superfamilies, 8–10 infraorders and 2 suborders (McAlpine and Wood 1989; Yeates and Wiegmann 1999; Thompson 2004; Fig. 2.1), and around 3,100 fossil species have been described (Evenhuis 1994)....

    • CHAPTER THREE Role of Dipterology in Phylogenetic Systematics: The Insight of Willi Hennig
      (pp. 45-62)
      Rudolf Meier

      The movie industry has profited handsomely from the idea of time travel, and we probably all have wished at times that we owned a time machine ourselves. In science, the next best solution to time travel is the more mundane task of reading the old scientific literature. It reflects major changes in research agenda and methods in the different fields. If we study the literature in systematic biology and evolutionary biology of the twentieth century, we notice a dramatic change in content and technique after 1966 (Hull 1989). Many of these changes were initiated from within the field of dipterology...


    • CHAPTER FOUR The Genomes of Diptera
      (pp. 65-125)
      Michael Ashburner

      Our knowledge of dipteran genomes has been revolutionized by the completion of the sequences of the genomes of three flies, those of Drosophila melanogaster, D. pseudoobscura, and Anopheles gambiae. The impetus for these major projects has been the extraordinary utility of the first species as a model organism for both basic and biomedical research, the utility of the second species for comparative purposes, and the importance of the last as a disease vector. These achievements must not, however, blind us to the fact that these are but three of an estimated 250,000 extant species (admittedly from two very different lineages)...

    • CHAPTER FIVE Evolutionary Developmental Biology of the Diptera: The “Model Clade” Approach
      (pp. 126-144)
      Rob DeSalle

      For the past century, thousands of biologists have relied on the model organism research paradigm to fuel their research programs. This paradigm, to say the least, has been incredibly useful and productive. The model organism paradigm, however, has suffered from the obvious limitation that taxonomic sampling has focused on only a few organisms. Although researchers working on model organisms have been able to examine the genetic, developmental, physiological, and morphological phenomena inherent to their model organisms, their ability to extend their systems beyond the model organism has been limited. More recent efforts by a broad community of biologists to include...

    • CHAPTER SIX Transposable Elements and the Evolution of Dipteran Genomes
      (pp. 145-172)
      Margaret G. Kidwell

      Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile DNA sequences that have been identified in a broad range of species in all kingdoms of life. Although originally discovered around 50 years ago (McClintock 1948) in plants, it was not until about 20 years later that mobile elements were unambiguously identified in other eukaryotic species such as Drosophila melanogaster (e.g., Finnegan et al. 1978). In the past 20 to 30 years, this model organism has played a leading role in advancing our knowledge of eukaryotic TEs. However, their study in a broad range of dipteran species awaited the routine use of sophisticated molecular techniques...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN Evolution and Development of the Dipteran Nervous System
      (pp. 173-195)
      David J. Merritt

      The Diptera are an ancient group; hence, an understanding of evolution and development of their nervous system will open windows into 250 My of evolutionary history (Labandeira, Chapter 9). Among insects, the dipteran nervous system is the best understood, primarily because the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is the foremost invertebrate genetic model organism. Studies of Drosophila have provided extraordinary insights into biological processes at the levels of genes, molecules, cells, tissues, and behavior. In many of these investigations, a question that has been often posed is: how representative is Drosophila? To answer this question, comparisons with other Diptera can establish...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT Dipteran Sex Chromosomes in Evolutionary Developmental Biology
      (pp. 196-214)
      Neil Davies and George K. Roderick

      Sex chromosomes are involved in many fundamental biological phenomena, such as sex determination (Bull 1983; Charlesworth 1996; Marin and Baker 1998), imprinting (Crouse 1960), dosage compensation (Cline and Meyer 1996; Chatterjee 1998), recombination suppression (Korol et al. 1994; Otto and Lenormand 2002), meiotic drive (Hurst and Pomiankowski 1991), sexual selection (Hastings 1994), sexual dimorphism (Rice 1984), and speciation (Haldane 1922b; Coyne 1992; Sperling 1994). Although these phenomena are clearly interrelated at some level, it is far from certain that any unified theory is possible and to what extent such a theory might explain them. Understanding the evolutionary forces that have...


    • CHAPTER NINE Fossil History and Evolutionary Ecology of Diptera and Their Associations with Plants
      (pp. 217-273)
      Conrad C. Labandeira

      The Diptera are one of the four major and dominant orders of holometabolous insects whose larval and adult stages have invaded virtually every available terrestrial and freshwater habitat on the planet. In these continental environments, dipterans consume every nutritionally rewarding food resource and are able to thrive in settings as varied as petroleum-rich pools, highly saline playa lakes, and urine soaked soils (Séguy 1950; Oldroyd 1964; Skevington and Dang 2002). Although the origin of the Diptera has been controversially assigned to both sides of the catastrophic Permo-Triassic mass extinction 252 Mya (Amorim and Silva 2002), their major plant-associated diversification commenced...

    • CHAPTER TEN Biogeographic Patterns in the Evolution of Diptera
      (pp. 274-311)
      Peter Cranston

      Biogeography is the study of the distribution patterns of plants and animals, and the explanations of such patterns. Biogeographic studies of Diptera have been particularly influential, notably those of Hennig (1960), Brundin (1966), Munroe (1974), and Matile (1990). Studies of Rhagoletis fruit flies and Drosophila vinegar flies have been highly influential in elucidating the role of geographic distribution in speciation (Bush 1975 et seq.).

      Biogeography has unique concepts and a terminology: thus, every taxon, whether species, genus or whatever rank, occupies a particular geographic area, termed its “distribution,” “range,” or “area of endemism.” This area of distribution might be discontinuous...

    • CHAPTER ELEVEN Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Mating Systems in Flies
      (pp. 312-339)
      Gerald S. Wilkinson and Philip M. Johns

      Flies are a model group for the study of mating systems because of their extensive evolutionary diversification and ecological variation (see Yeates and Wiegmann, Chapter 2). For example, adults of some species feed on nectar, pollen, or other exudates; others suck blood from vertebrate hosts or are exclusively predaceous; and a few are even kleptoparasitic (Sivinski 1999). Larvae of many species are detritovores in semiaquatic or aquatic environments, but parasitic larval forms have also evolved repeatedly, as have plant-feeding forms. Based on classical mating system theory (Emlen and Oring 1977), one would expect that the ecological diversity exhibited by adult...

    • CHAPTER TWELVE Ecological Genetics of Host Use in Diptera
      (pp. 340-370)
      Kenneth E. Filchak, Bill J. Etges, Nora J. Besansky and James L. Feder

      The order Diptera represents one of the most species rich and taxonomically diverse groups on Earth (Yeates and Wiegmann, Chapter 2). Among insects, flies tend to be relatively small; however, their morphologies are quite varied, ranging from mosquitoes and crane flies to bee mimics, stalk-eyed flies, and fruit flies (Merritt et al. 2003). Dipterans are widespread and can be found in almost every terrestrial and fresh water habitat. They have colonized even the seemingly most inhospitable of environments. Indeed, there are species of Antarctic flies (e.g., Belgica antarctica), as well as those that survive in pools of crude petroleum (e.g.,...

    • CHAPTER THIRTEEN Invasive Diptera: Using Molecular Markers to Investigate Cryptic Species and the Global Spread of Introduced Flies
      (pp. 371-387)
      Sonja J. Scheffer

      Given the great diversity in both the larval and adult habits of Diptera (Oldroyd 1964; McAlpine et al. 1981, 1987; Ferrar 1987), it comes as no surprise that many flies are, to a greater or lesser extent, associated with humans. In addition to feeding directly on humans, various species of flies are associated with our refuse, our animals, and/or our crops. Many synanthropic flies undoubtedly have a long history of association with humans. As humans have invaded existing habitats and created new ones, the fly fauna has adapted accordingly, with some species, such as the housefly and some mosquitoes, becoming...

    • CHAPTER FOURTEEN Guild Analyses of Dipteran Assemblages: A Rationale and Investigation of Seasonality and Stratification in Selected Rainforest Faunas
      (pp. 388-416)
      Roger L. Kitching, Daniel J. Bickel and Sarah Boulter

      It is commonplace in studies of insect biodiversity based on mass sampling to analyze the samples not only on the basis of their taxonomic composition, but also using the same data rearranged into trophic guilds (Southwood et al. 1982; Stork 1987; Hammond 1990; Hammond et al. 1996; Krüger and McGavin 2001). In this regard, a guild is defined as a set of species from a larger insect assemblage, the members of which have similar feeding habits. The level of detail involved in such designations varies from study to study, but basic trophic information (e.g., herbivore, predator, saprophage) may be modified...

  7. List of Contributors
    (pp. 417-418)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 419-430)