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Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) Faunal Statistics
As of July, 2000 the number of valid, described species or subspecies of fruit flies was 4,352, although there are undoubtedly many more undescribed species. These species are classified in 481 valid genera. See the Classification & Diversity Table for the numbers of genera and species per region for each higher taxon and the numbers of species for each genus and subgenus.
Table of genera and species of Tephritidae by zoogeographic region. World totals are not the sum of the regional totals as some genera and species occur in more than one region. The average species per genus for the regions based on native taxa.
Tephritid diversity in the major biogeographic regions is compared in the above Table. The following summary is based on the number of native genera and species, although the total number for each region (which includes introduced taxa) is not substantially different. Based on the described taxa, the Oriental Region appears to have the greatest fruit fly diversity in both genera and species, although the Afrotropical Region is a close second and may eventually prove to have more genera and species. In number of species, following the Oriental and Afrotropical Regions, are the Palearctic, Australasian, Neotropical and Nearctic Regions. The diversity of tephritid genera in these regions is similar, except that the Palearctic Region has fewer genera than the Australasian Region. The Nearctic fauna is by far the least diverse, in both genera and species, and the Neotropical Region is second least diverse, although it has almost as many species as the Australasian Region.
The great degree of regional endemism within the Tephritidae is striking. Most species are restricted to a single region. Only two species (Tephritis angustipennis & Trypeta flaveola) are thought to be truely Holarctic (the other 17 species occuring in both regions are introduced, not originally Holarctic), which reflects the strong decrease in fruit fly diversity with increasing latitude in the northern Palearctic and Nearctic Regions.
The average size of fruit fly genera is 9.05 species per genus. The size distribution of the genera is distinctly skewed: 183 genera are monotypic, whereas six genera (Anastrepha, Bactrocera, Campiglossa, Dacus, Tephritis, and Trupanea) each contain more than 100 species. The five most economically important genera are also among the most speciose: Bactrocera (520 species), Dacus (243), Anastrepha (198), Ceratitis (78), and Rhagoletis (69).
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Content by Allen L. Norrbom. Last Updated: August 31, 2000.