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Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) Classification & Diversity
As of December 2003, there were 4,448 recognized species and subspecies of fruit flies worldwide, grouped in 484 genera. The actual number of species is much higher, as many remain undescribed. Species diversity is greatest in the tropics. Open the Classification Table for a list of all of the valid genera and subgenera included in each higer taxon, or open the Classification & Diversity Table for tallies of the number of genera and species for each taxon by faunal region. See Faunal Statistics for a regional comparison of tephritid diversity.
Within the order Diptera, the family Tephritidae belongs to the suborder Brachycera, infraorder Muscomorpha (= Cyclorrhapha), section Schizophora, and superfamily Tephritoidea (J.F. McAlpine 1989). In addition to the Tephritidae, the Tephritoidea includes at least the families Lonchaeidae, Ulidiidae (= Otitidae, see Kameneva & Korneyev 1994), Pallopteridae, Piophilidae, Platystomatidae, Pyrgotidae, and Richardiidae (Griffiths 1972, Hennig 1973, J.F. McAlpine 1989, Korneyev 1999). The Tachiniscinae, long ranked as a family, were included in the Tephritidae by Korneyev (1999). Griffiths (1972) ranked the Eurygnathomyiidae, which was included in the Pallopteridae by the other authors, as a separate family. He also excluded the Lonchaeidae from the Tephritoidea, but later included it as well as the Cryptochetidae and Carnidae (Griffiths 1990), although other authors have continued to classify the latter two families in other superfamilies. The Ctenostylidae (= Lochmostyliinae) were recently excluded from the Pyrgotidae and the Tephritoidea, although they may be related to the superfamily (D.K. McAlpine 1989, Barraclough 1994).
Although there is some disagreement among the above-named authorities on the relationships of the families within the Tephritoidea, there is consensus that the Ulidiidae, Platystomatidae, Pyrgotidae and Tephritidae (including Tachiniscinae) are a monophyletic group, and that within this group, the Platystomatidae, Pyrgotidae and Tephritidae are more closely related (see Phylogeny). Griffiths (1972) included all of these taxa, plus most Pallopteridae, within the Tephritidae, but his ranking proposal has not been followed.
The higher classification of the Tephritidae has been unsettled for the last few decades. Different authors have proposed competing classifications, numerous new groups have recently been proposed, and many genera have been transferred. The classification followed here, based on Korneyev (1999) and Norrbom, Carroll & Freidberg (1999), includes 6 subfamilies and 27 tribes. Open the Classification Table for a list of all of the valid genera and subgenera included in each higer taxon. Access the Fruit Fly Names Database for detailed information on scientific names and related information for all fruit flies as of 2003, or see the Biosystematic Database of World Diptera for such information for all flies.
See the Fruit Fly Bibliography Database for full information for cited references.
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Content by Allen L. Norrbom. Last Updated: November 10, 2004.