TY - JOUR
T1 - The Cayman Crab Fly Revisited — Phylogeny and Biology of Drosophila endobranchia
A1 - Stensmyr, Marcus C.
A1 - Stieber, Regina
A1 - Hansson, Bill S.
Y1 - 2008/04/09
N2 - Background
The majority of all known drosophilid flies feed on microbes. The wide spread of microorganisms consequently mean that drosophilids also can be found on a broad range of substrates. One of the more peculiar types of habitat is shown by three species of flies that have colonized land crabs. In spite of their intriguing lifestyle, the crab flies have remained poorly studied. Perhaps the least investigated of the three crab flies is the Cayman Island endemic Drosophila endobranchia. Apart from its life cycle very little is known about this species, including its phylogenetic position, which has remained unresolved due to a cryptic set of characteristics.Principal Findings
Based on molecular data, corroborated by a re-analysis of the morphological make up, we have resolved the phylogenetic position of D. endobranchia and show that it somewhat surprisingly belongs to the large Neotropical repleta radiation, and should be considered as an aberrant member of the canalinea species group. Furthermore we also provide additional data on the behavior of these remarkable flies.Conclusion
Our findings reveal that the two Caribbean crab flies are not as distantly related as first thought, as both species are members of the derived repleta radiation. That this lineage has given rise to two species with the same odd type of breeding substrate is curious and prompts the question of what aspects of their shared ancestry has made these flies suitable for a life on (and inside) land crabs. Knowledge of the phylogenetic position of D. endobranchia will allow for comparative explorations and will aid in efforts aimed at understanding processes involved in drastic host shifts and extreme specialization.
JF - PLoS ONE
JA - PLoS ONE
VL - 3
IS - 4
UR - http://dx.plos.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0001942
SP - e1942
PB - Public Library of Science
M3 - doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001942