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Diptera of the Atlantic Forest: taxonomy, endemism, and biogeography

Abstract

Although has been estimated the existence of approximately 1,6 million species of Diptera, only 31,000 of a total of 160,000 are currently known in the Neotropical region (~ 20%). It is estimated that the Neotropics is one of the most diverse regions in species, which requires investment in taxonomy research for its study. In this sense, the demand for continuous training of experts working on different Diptera families is of great relevance, to perform quality and robust work taxonomy such as revisions, faunal surveys, and studies of diversity and distribution patterns. At the same time, the inclusion of molecular data to the study has the potential to support species delimitation and thus providing a deeper knowledge about the fauna. In this context, this proposal aims to increase our knowledge about the taxonomy of Diptera in a biodiversity hotspot, the Atlantic Forest. Samples will be sorted and material of different Diptera families will be studied by the collaborators of the proposal (Bombyliidae, Chloropidae, Drosophilidae, Lauxaniidae, Milichiidae, Mycetophilidae, Rhagionidae, Tabanidae, Stratiomyidae and Xylomyidae). Particular issues will be addressed for the families Tabanidae and Stratiomyidae. These two families have high economic, forensic, and ecological relevance, due to the presence of hematophagy in adults of Tabanidae and the habit of decomposing organic matter in immature of Stratiomyidae. At the same time, although both families are represented by conspicuous insects, due to their high number of species described in the world (4,400 species for Tabanidae and 2,800 for Stratiomyidae) and a low number of experts, there are still important deficits about the fauna of both families. Many genera need to be revised and many Brazilian states have no record of a single species of the family, so that although some studies have been done with families in recent years, much remains to be done. A refinement in the data of two widespread families with a high number of species will also be useful to obtain hypotheses of endemism for the Atlantic Forest, an area of research in progress by the proponent with important publications in the last years. Finally, the use of molecular data applied to species that are difficult to identify based on morphology alone has the potential to distinguish cryptic species within these families, providing an important advance in their taxonomy. This proposal is a continuation of the research in the systematics and evolution of the two families, developed during the PhD of the two candidates who will act as postdoctoral in the lab with the approval of the proposal. In the context of the project, the two postdoctoral researchers will supervision undergraduate students. The involvement of recent doctors in the training of students is an important step to form a new generation of taxonomists. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PAULA RAILE RICCARDI; DIEGO AGUILAR FACHIN; ROSALY ALE-ROCHA; EDNA MARIA AMARAL; DALTON DE SOUZA AMORIM; LEONARDO HENRIQUE GIL-AZEVEDO; RENATO SOARES CAPELLARI; DANIEL DIAS DORNELAS DO CARMO; CLAUDIO JOSÉ BARROS DE CARVALHO; GUSTAVO BORGES FERRO; et al. Checklist of the dipterofauna (Insecta) from Roraima, Brazil, with special reference to the Brazilian Ecological Station of Maracá. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo), v. 62, . (18/14504-4, 12/23200-2, 14/05793-1, 21/08713-2, 16/02475-4, 13/16524-9, 12/12843-0)

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