Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Amy Berkov

Second Advisor

David Grimaldi

Third Advisor

David Lohman

Keywords

fruit flies, lachryphagy, new species, saproxyly, sky islands, taxonomy

Abstract

Thorough biotic inventories are still needed even in families as seemingly well-studied as fruit flies (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Drosophilidae have had an outsize effect on the history of biology because of their pivotal role in the study of genetics, development, and evolution. Even with more than a century of intensive study, large gaps remain in our understanding of diversity in this fly family, including well-studied areas such as North America. This thesis presents a taxonomic revision of the Nearctic species of the genus Amiota Loew. Twenty-three species are identified as being new to science for publication at a later date. This increases the total species known in the Nearctic to 34. Amiota steganoptera Malloch is excluded from the Nearctic and Amiota setigera Malloch is synonymized under Amiota humeralis Loew. The taxonomic history of the Nearctic species is reviewed, and various aspects of their biology is presented, including larval saproxyly and adult lachryphagy. Morphological diagnoses are provided to define and separate each species, as are illustrations of male terminalia. Specimen-level distribution data is provided for each species. Limitations to the study of Amiota and future prospects are discussed.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 14, 2022

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