Molecular phylogeny of Miltogramminae (Diptera Sarcophagidae): implications for classification, systematics and evolution of larval feeding strategies

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Marcin Piwczyński
  • Pape, Thomas
  • Edyta Deja-Sikora
  • Marcin Sikora
  • Kamran Akbarzadeh
  • Krzysztof Szpila

Miltogramminae is one of the phylogenetically most poorly studied taxa of the species-rich family Sarcophagidae (Diptera). Most species are kleptoparasites in nests of solitary aculeate wasps and bees, although parasitoids and saprophagous species are also known, and the ancestral miltogrammine life habit remains unsettled. Here, we present for the first time a comprehensive phylogenetic tree consisting of 58 representatives of Miltogramminae, reconstructed using sequence data from three mitochondrial (COI, cytB, ND4) and one nuclear (Ef-1α) genes. Our phylogenetic hypothesis suggests that: (1) Miltogramminae are sister to Paramacronychiinae, (2) Miltogramminae can be divided into the “lower miltogrammines” containing two clades of mainly saprophages and a clade of “higher miltogrammines” with mainly kleptoparasitic species, (3) only three genera turn out to be non-monophyletic: Miltogramma, Senotainia and Pterella and (4) the genus Sarcotachina, which traditionally has been considered as belonging to the Paramacronychiinae, is placed in one of the clades of “lower miltogrammines”. Ancestral state reconstruction of larval feeding strategy and five larval characters reveals that the ancestor of Miltogramminae was likely a saprophage retaining plesiomorphic oral ridges and a cephaloskeleton with sclerotized dorsal bridge. Synapomorphies like large pseudocephalic sensory organs and well-developed cuticular sculpture suggest that the ancestral first instar larva actively searched for a buried food supply.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

    Research areas

  • Elongation factor 1-alpha (EF-1α), Kleptoparasites, Larval morphology, mtDNA, Saprophages, Stochastic mapping

ID: 184072908