The family Chloropidae currently comprises 202 genera, divided in four subfamilies. The most diverse subfamily is Oscinellinae, with 109 of the genera. Siphonellopsinae is the least diverse with only four genera, followed by Rhodesiellinae with 14 genera. The subfamily Chloropinae, focus of this research project, comprises 75 genera and 995 described species, distributed in all biogeographical areas. The oldest known fossil record is from Eocene/Oligocene. One of the most characteristic morphological trait of Chloropinae is the costal vein never reaching M1+2. Most larvae of this subfamily are associated with monocots, but great variation in the feeding habits, as predation and fungi association has been reported. The evolution of various characters of this group of flies related to their biology, such as food habit, would be better understood under a phylogenetic framework. Although Chloropinae is regarded as a monophyletic group, the phylogenetic relationships among its members are poorly understood and several of its genera might be paraphyletic. The lack of broad phylogenetic investigations of Chloropinae has hampered revision of its higher level classification in recent decades. Moreover, there is the need of a key for all chrloropine genera, because previous studies primarily focused on regional faunas. This main goal of this project is to conduct a cladistic analysis for all genera of Chloropinae. The results will allow for the detection of non-monophyletic genera, guide of classificatory improvements of Chloropinae, followed by the elaboration of a comprehensive identification key for all genera comprised in this subfamily.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: