Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Fauna of New Zealand 71: Fanniidae (Insecta: Diptera) - Phylogeny and biogeography

Domínguez, MC; Pont, AC 2014. Fauna of New Zealand. 71, 91 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ISSN 1179-7193 (online) ; no. 71. ISBN 978-0-478-34745-6 (print), ISBN 978-0-478-34746-3 (online) ). Published 30 Jun 2014
DOI: 0.7931/J2/FNZ.71

Phylogeny and biogeography

Chillcott (1961) and Hennig (1965) proposed the centre of origin of the family to be in the Holarctic Region, where the largest number of Fanniidae species occurs. Their hypothesis agrees with the “holarcticist theory” which was accepted as a paradigm during the resurgence of Darwinism. Darlington (1965) defended this theory to explain the origin of the austral faunas, proposing that the centre of origin of many austral taxa had been in the large Holarctic landmasses. He postulated that, through dispersal, the most evolved Holarctic groups could have independently invaded the Austral regions.

The biogeographic proposals for the family Fanniidae made by Chillcott (1961) and Hennig (1965) were mostly based on dispersal, with an emphasis on the biogeographic history of the Holarctic species and Chillcott’s classification of the family. The more recent phylogenetic hypothesis for the family Fanniidae (Domínguez & Roig-Juñent 2008) incorporated newly described or poorly known species of the family from Africa, the Neotropics, Patagonia, Australia, and New Zealand, showing that, as Hennig (1965) suggested, the Neotropical and Patagonian species of Fanniidae do not form a monophyletic unit. But contrary to Hennig’s (1965) hypothesis, they appear to be more closely related to species of other austral regions of the world than to the Holarctic species of the family. This could indicate a more complex biogeographic history than the one proposed by Chillcott (1961) and Hennig (1965), and where vicariance should be taken into consideration.

Domínguez & Roig-Juñent (2011) presented a hypothesis of the biogeographic history of the family Fanniidae that attempted to explain the distribution patterns of the family and especially those of the Neotropical, African, Australian, and New Zealand species of Fanniidae which had not been included in Chillcott’s (1961) and Hennig’s (1965) earlier hypotheses because many of them were described after these studies. The authors performed a dispersal-vicariance analysis (DIVA) (Ronquist 1996; 1997) on the phylogenetic hypothesis of the family Fanniidae proposed by Domínguez & Roig-Juñent (2008). This cladistic analysis was based on morphological characters and included 78 species representing the four genera of Fanniidae and all the species-groups within the genus Fannia, except for the admirabilis-group proposed by Albuquerque et al. (1981) and the setifer-subgroup proposed by Chillcott (1961). Domínguez & Roig-Juñent (2008) also included six of the species from New Zealand that are described herein. The species Fannia sp. 1 in Domínguez & Roig (2008), which is recognised here as Zealandofannia mystacina new genus, new species, appeared as the sister taxon of the genus Fannia, preceded by the remaining genera of the family, providing support for its recognition as a new genus for the family (Fig. 1). The remaining species from New Zealand appeared in a clade containing Neotropical, Patagonian, and Australian species of Fannia and were referred to in this biogeographic analysis as the Gondwanic clade (Fig. 2). Althought recent literature on Diptera evolution supports the hypothesis that Schizophora radiation occurred during the Coenozoic, another example of higher Diptera that could be placed within this time frame is the genus Coenosopsia Malloch (Anthomyiidae). In a taxonomic, cladistic, and biogeographic analysis of this genus, Nihei & Carvalho (2004) considered that a Gondwanan origin could be a competing hypothesis, along with the north to south dispersal proposed by Michelsen (1991), to explain the origin of the family Anthomyiidae. Nevertheless, in a re-analysis of Dominguez & Roig’s (2011) data, Löwenberg et al. (2012) suggested that the Fanniidae originated in the Palaeogene and that they were affected by a few events of vicariance and several expansions during the Coenozoic. Recent molecular work has assigned the explosive radiation of the Diptera Schizophora to the early Palaeogene (Wiegmann et al. 2011), and has also confirmed the monophyly of the Fanniidae (Kutty et al. 2008) and recognised the family as sister taxon to the remaining Calyptratae (excluding Hippoboscoidea) (Kutty et al. 2010).

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