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Condylostylus, Thrypticus, pseudogondwanan distributions, and the manual of the Dolichopodidae of South America

Grant number: 17/09507-1
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: September 01, 2017 - October 14, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Dalton de Souza Amorim
Grantee:Dalton de Souza Amorim
Visiting researcher: Daniel John Bickel
Visiting researcher institution: Australian Museum, Australia
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Brazil has made an organized investment on the research of Diptera diversity-one of the megadiverse insect orders. The Dolichopodidae family is the fourth most speciose of Diptera, including 255 genera and about 7,600 described species in the world. The knowledge of the relationships between the subfamilies of Dolichopodidae has had important recent advances, but there are problems in the hypotheses of monophyly of some of them, as well as in the position of the subfamilies in a family phylogeny. For the Neotropical region, there are just over 1,200 species described in 76 genera, but there are large portions of the family diversity still undescribed. The concept of "open-ended" taxa was proposed by Dr. Daniel Bickel considering the genus Hilara Meigen (Empididae), but it applies as well to several genera of Dolichopodidae, including the Condylostylus Bigot. The genus has about 260 described species, 75% of its diversity in the Neotropical region. Its species are relatively conspicuous in natural and in secondary environments, but there is no identification key for the species or recent revisions, making it extremely desirable a review for the group that would allow the use of the genus in environmental studies. Dr. Daniel Bickel has been dedicating himself to the study of the genus for many years and proposes himself, with a visit to Brazilian collections, to complete the review. Issues with species of the genus Thrypticus have raised in the last years in South America. The genus has leaf-miner species associated to water hyacinth, what gives them economic importance, but there are unsolved taxonomic problems in the genus. Dr. Bickel has been collaborating with MSc Érica Sevilha, a University of Brasil PhD student, on issues with this genus. Additionally, Dr. Daniel Bickel co-authors with Dr. Renato Soares Capellari the chapter on Dolichopodidae in the Manual of South America Diptera-a project that will compile in two or three volumes all knowledge on Diptera diversity accumulated for the continent in many decades. The dolichopodid chapter in the manual will be the most important contribution to the advance of all taxonomic work on the family in South America for at least the next 20 years. Finally, his visit should would allow him to work with the proponent of this project on a paper on the distribution of a tropical fauna on Laurasia terranes in the Upper Cretaceous, which secondarily gave rise to a tropical fauna over Gondwanan terranes along the first half of the Cenozoic, together with the expansion of the distribution of the Angiosperms. (AU)