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Study of non-Brazilian species of Cladochaeta Coquillett, 1900 (Diptera: Drosophilidae: Drosophilinae)

Grant number: 14/04796-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2014
Effective date (End): July 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Dalton de Souza Amorim
Grantee:Gabriela Pirani Ignácio
Supervisor: David A. Grimaldi
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: American Museum of Natural History, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:13/07433-0 - Cladochaeta Coquillett, 1990(Diptera: Drosophilidae: Drosophilinae) taxonomy and morphology in Brazil, BP.MS


The family Drosophilidae has 4.177 described species present in 75 genera gathered under two subfamilies, both with worldwide distribution. This group of acalyptrates flies belongs to the superfamily Ephydroidea, specimens measuring mostly from 1 to 6 mm long. Diagnostic features for the family are the presence of a couple of breaks on the costal vein,Sc incomplete, convergent post-verticals, and three pairs of fronto-orbital bristles, one proclinate and two reclinate. The biology and morphology of the drosophilids are considerably variable and there are important gaps in the knowledge of the fauna in the Neotropical region-most strikingly to the species that do not belong to the genus Drosophila. This project intends to study a fraction of the drosophilid fauna of the Neotropical region-the genus Cladochaeta-in a family of taxonomic importance in one of the megadiverse orders of insects. There is a great amount of information on the genus Drosophila, especially genetics, and this includes a well developed taxonomy, with a vast number of described species. The remaining of the family, however, has received scarce attention from taxonomists. This project intends to study the taxonomy of the genus Cladochaeta and corresponds to a training in general Systematics for a specialist on her MSc studies. There is a huge monograph published on the genus Cladochaeta Coquillett-now with 124 described species for the Neotropical Region-, but only two species so far have been referred to Brazil. This project includes a detailed study of the external morphology of adults, including the male and female terminalia, of the species of the genus. This will result in an important improvement of the taxonomical knowledge of the genus, and as well in features that shall be later used in a phylogenetic study of the genus. The material of study would be that one in the collection of American Museum of Natural History, especially the material collected by Dr. Terry Erwin (Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.), originating from eastern Ecuador (Orellana), Costa Rica and French Guiana. (AU)

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