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Phylogenetics of the Antopocerus-Modified Tarsus Clade of Hawaiian Drosophila: Diversification across the Hawaiian Islands


The Hawaiian Drosophilidae radiation is an ecologically and morphologically diverse clade of almost 700 described species. A phylogenetic approach is key to understanding the evolutionary forces that have given rise to this diverse lineage. Here we infer the phylogeny for the antopocerus, modified tarsus and ciliated tarsus (AMC) clade, a lineage comprising 16% (91 of 687 species) of the described Hawaiian Drosophilidae. To improve on previous analyses we constructed the largest dataset to date for the AMC, including a matrix of 15 genes for 68 species. Results strongly support most of the morphologically defined species groups as monophyletic. We explore the correlation of increased diversity in biogeography, sexual selection and ecology on the present day diversity seen in this lineage using a combination of dating methods, rearing records, and distributional data. Molecular dating analyses indicate that AMC lineage started diversifying about 4.4 million years ago, culminating in the present day AMC diversity. We do not find evidence that ecological speciation or sexual selection played a part in generating this diversity, but given the limited number of described larval substrates and secondary sexual characters analyzed we can not rule these factors out entirely. An increased rate of diversification in the AMC is found to overlap with the emergence of multiple islands in the current chain of high islands, specifically Oahu and Kauai.

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