Publication Details

Meiklejohn, K. A., Wallman, J. F., Pape, T., Cameron, S. L. & Dowton, M. (2013). Utility of COI, CAD and morphological data for resolving relationships within the genus Sarcophaga (sensu lato) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae): a preliminary study. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 69 (1), 133-141.


Currently there are ∼3000 known species of Sarcophagidae (Diptera), which are classified into 173 genera in three subfamilies. Almost 25% of sarcophagids belong to the genus Sarcophaga (sensu lato) however little is known about the validity of, and relationships between the ∼150 (or more) subgenera of Sarcophaga s.l. In this preliminary study, we evaluated the usefulness of three sources of data for resolving relationships between 35 species from 14 Sarcophaga s.l. subgenera: the mitochondrial COI barcode region, ∼800 bp of the nuclear gene CAD, and 110 morphological characters. Bayesian, maximum likelihood (ML) and maximum parsimony (MP) analyses were performed on the combined dataset. Much of the tree was only supported by the Bayesian and ML analyses, with the MP tree poorly resolved. The genus Sarcophaga s.l. was resolved as monophyletic in both the Bayesian and ML analyses and strong support was obtained at the species-level. Notably, the only subgenus consistently resolved as monophyletic was Liopygia. The monophyly of and relationships between the remaining Sarcophaga s.l. subgenera sampled remain questionable. We suggest that future phylogenetic studies on the genus Sarcophaga s.l. use combined datasets for analyses. We also advocate the use of additional data and a range of inference strategies to assist with resolving relationships within Sarcophaga s.l.

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