Publications by authors named "Santos Rojo"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Revision of the Afrotropical genus Zumpt, 1958, with notes on the morphology of Rhiniidae subfamilies (Diptera, Oestroidea).

Zookeys 2021 22;1033:127-157. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Alicante, Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig s/n, Aptdo 99 E-03080, San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain Universidad de Alicante Alicante Spain.

The taxonomy and diversity of Zumpt, 1958, an exclusive Afrotropical genus, had not been reviewed recently. The genus included six nominal species, but the status of several of them was debated. Identification of most species depends on characters of the male terminalia; females are poorly known and, in several cases, are not adequately diagnosed. We conducted a taxonomic revision of the genus and generated identification tools. Based on the study of type material and specimens available in entomological collections in Africa and Europe, we recognise here three of the six species as valid ( (Macquart, 1846), (Bezzi, 1908) and Zumpt, 1973). We also provide an identification key to both sexes, redescriptions of the species, updated distribution records and high resolution photographs of males' and females' habitus and male terminalia. The description of Lehrer, 2007a is an invalid nomenclatural act in terms of ICZN Article 13.1.1. Based on examinations of their holotypes, Lehrer, 2008 is proposed as a junior synonym of ; Lehrer, 2007b is proposed as a junior synonym of ; and Lehrer, 2007b is moved from the genus to the genus Robineau-Desvoidy, as (Lehrer, 2007b) . We propose two apomorphies that support the status of the subfamily Rhiniinae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.1033.58539DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8084851PMC
April 2021

Global population genetic structure and demographic trajectories of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens.

BMC Biol 2021 May 5;19(1):94. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Livestock Sciences, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland.

Background: The black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) is the most promising insect candidate for nutrient-recycling through bioconversion of organic waste into biomass, thereby improving sustainability of protein supplies for animal feed and facilitating transition to a circular economy. Contrary to conventional livestock, genetic resources of farmed insects remain poorly characterised. We present the first comprehensive population genetic characterisation of H. illucens. Based on 15 novel microsatellite markers, we genotyped and analysed 2862 individuals from 150 wild and captive populations originating from 57 countries on seven subcontinents.

Results: We identified 16 well-distinguished genetic clusters indicating substantial global population structure. The data revealed genetic hotspots in central South America and successive northwards range expansions within the indigenous ranges of the Americas. Colonisations and naturalisations of largely unique genetic profiles occurred on all non-native continents, either preceded by demographically independent founder events from various single sources or involving admixture scenarios. A decisive primarily admixed Polynesian bridgehead population serially colonised the entire Australasian region and its secondarily admixed descendants successively mediated invasions into Africa and Europe. Conversely, captive populations from several continents traced back to a single North American origin and exhibit considerably reduced genetic diversity, although some farmed strains carry distinct genetic signatures. We highlight genetic footprints characteristic of progressing domestication due to increasing socio-economic importance of H. illucens, and ongoing introgression between domesticated strains globally traded for large-scale farming and wild populations in some regions.

Conclusions: We document the dynamic population genetic history of a cosmopolitan dipteran of South American origin shaped by striking geographic patterns. These reflect both ancient dispersal routes, and stochastic and heterogeneous anthropogenic introductions during the last century leading to pronounced diversification of worldwide structure of H. illucens. Upon the recent advent of its agronomic commercialisation, however, current human-mediated translocations of the black soldier fly largely involve genetically highly uniform domesticated strains, which meanwhile threaten the genetic integrity of differentiated unique local resources through introgression. Our in-depth reconstruction of the contemporary and historical demographic trajectories of H. illucens emphasises benchmarking potential for applied future research on this emerging model of the prospering insect-livestock sector.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12915-021-01029-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8101212PMC
May 2021

Review of Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Diptera: Muscidae) as a useful tool in forensic entomology.

Int J Legal Med 2021 Mar 18. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Alicante, PO Box 99, E-03080, Alicante, Spain.

Synthesiomyia nudiseta (van der Wulp, 1883) is a synanthropic muscid found in tropical and subtropical zones around the world. The larvae of this species are a secondary agent of myiasis with necrophagous habits and play an important role in forensic entomology, as they are used as an indicator of post-mortem interval. Adults can be considered vectors of etiological agents such as Escherichia coli and Shigella dysenteriae. Due to its ability to adapt to different environmental conditions, its high dispersal capacity (shown by its introduction to Europe), its predatory habits in the last larval stage and the difficulty of identifying it, a very important goal is to update our knowledge about this species. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to review the identification, geographical distribution and biology of this species in order to provide better support to investigations involving this fly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-021-02543-wDOI Listing
March 2021

Three new hoverfly species from Greece (Diptera: Syrphidae).

Zootaxa 2020 Aug 12;4830(1):zootaxa.4830.1.4. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Department of Biology and Ecology, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia..

An ongoing investigation on the Greek hoverfly fauna using adult morphology has revealed new species within three genera. In this study, the knowledge of the Mediterranean hoverfly fauna has been enhanced by describing the following species: Cheilosia candida Vujić et Radenković sp. n. (Pindos Mountains), Paragus thracusi Radenković, Likov et Vujić sp. n. (Rhodope Mountains) and Psilota aegeae Vujić, Ståhls et Smit sp. n. (Lesvos island). Diagnosis of new species, as well as identification keys to the Mediterranean species of the subgenus Convocheila Barkalov of Cheilosia Meigen and the European species of the genus Psilota Meigen have been provided. Additionally, mtDNA COI barcodes for the members of the Psilota atra group (except Psilota nana Smit et Vujić) have been given. In addition, the taxonomic status of Psilota anthracina Meigen has been discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4830.1.4DOI Listing
August 2020

Intra-puparial development in the hoverflies Eristalinus aeneus and Eristalis tenax (Diptera: Syrphidae).

J Morphol 2020 11 14;281(11):1436-1445. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain.

The intra-puparial development of 150 pupae of Eristalinus aeneus (Scopoli, 1763) and Eristalis tenax (Linnaeus, 1758) was analyzed. Individuals were obtained from the sixth laboratory generation kept under artificial rearing conditions at the facilities of the University of Alicante (Spain). The experiment was conducted at 25 ± 1°C temperature, 50 ± 5% relative humidity, and 12:12 hr (L:D) of photoperiod. Groups of 10 pupae were collected every 6 hr over 48 hr, after that period, pupae were collected daily until the adult emergence. They were fixed in 5% formic acid and preserved in 70% ethanol. Fixed pupae were dissected and photographed. The chronology and morphological changes that take place during the intra-puparial development in both species were analyzed and compared. Five phases were observed: prepupa, before 6 hr; cryptocephalic pupa, between 6 and 24 hr; phanerocephalic pupa, between 24 and 30 hr; pharate adult, after 30 hr; and the adult imago, restricted to the very end of the development process just before adult emergence. In total, the intra-puparial development lasted 189 ± 4 hr in E. aeneus and 192 ± 3 hr in E. tenax, with the pharate adult the longest phase (some 81% of the total developmental time). These data can be used to develop accurate cold storage protocols during artificial rearing of both pollinator species, avoiding critical events during the development and increasing survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmor.21257DOI Listing
November 2020

The puzzling mitochondrial phylogeography of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens), the commercially most important insect protein species.

BMC Evol Biol 2020 05 24;20(1):60. Epub 2020 May 24.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, TT2 Tietotie 2, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Espoo, Finland.

Background: The black soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae, Hermetia illucens) is renowned for its bioconversion ability of organic matter, and is the worldwide most widely used source of insect protein. Despite varying extensively in morphology, it is widely assumed that all black soldier flies belong to the same species, Hermetia illucens. We here screened about 600 field-collected and cultured flies from 39 countries and six biogeographic regions to test this assumption based on data for three genes (mitochondrial COI, nuclear ITS2 & 28S rDNA) and in order to gain insights into the phylogeography of the species.

Results: Our study reveals a surprisingly high level of intraspecific genetic diversity for the mitochondrial barcoding gene COI (divergences up to 4.9%). This level of variability is often associated with the presence of multiple species, but tested nuclear markers (ITS2 and 28S rDNA) were invariant and fly strain hybridization experiments under laboratory conditions revealed reproductive compatibility. COI haplotype diversity is not only very high in all biogeographic regions (56 distinct haplotypes in total), but also in breeding facilities and research centers from six continents (10 haplotypes: divergences up to 4.3%). The high genetic diversity in fly-breeding facilities is mostly likely due to many independent acquisitions of cultures via sharing and/or establishing new colonies from field-collected flies. However, explaining some of the observed diversity in several biogeographic regions is difficult given that the origin of the species is considered to be New World (32 distinct haplotypes) and one would expect severely reduced genetic diversity in the putatively non-native populations in the remaining biogeographic regions. However, distinct, private haplotypes are known from the Australasian (N = 1), Oriental (N = 4), and the Eastern Palearctic (N = 4) populations. We reviewed museum specimen records and conclude that the evidence for introductions is strong for the Western Palearctic and Afrotropical regions which lack distinct, private haplotypes.

Conclusions: Based on the results of this paper, we urge the black soldier fly community to apply molecular characterization (genotyping) of the fly strains used in artificial fly-breeding and share these data in research publications as well as when sharing cultures. In addition, fast-evolving nuclear markers should be used to reconstruct the recent invasion history of the species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12862-020-01627-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7247124PMC
May 2020

Revision of the group (Diptera, Syrphidae).

Zookeys 2020 5;909:79-158. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Zoology Unit, Finnish Museum of Natural History Luomus, University of Helsinki, Finland.

The phytophagous hoverfly genus Meigen, 1803 (Diptera, Syrphidae), which comprises more than 160 species distributed in Palaearctic and Afrotropical regions, can be differentiated into multiple groups of species that harbor high levels of hidden diversity. In this work, the species group of is revised, providing an illustrated key to species, a detailed discussion on the taxonomic characters and a morphological diagnosis, including also the first data about the preimaginal morphology of this species group. The study includes characteristics of the 13 species of the group, along with the available distributional data. Moreover, descriptions are provided for seven new species, namely Vujić, Likov & Radenković , Vujić, Likov & Radenković , Vujić, Likov & Radenković , Vujić, Likov & Radenković , Vujić, Likov & Radenković , Vujić, Likov & Radenković , and Vujić, Likov & Radenković In addition, the taxa (Wiedemann in Meigen, 1822), Hurkmans, 1993, Sack, 1913, Matsumura, 1916, (Paramonov, 1936) and Hurkmans, 1993 are redefined and redescribed. Following a detailed study of the type material sourced from different entomological collections, the status of all available taxa related to is revised and a new synonymy is proposed: Sack, 1913 (junior synonym of ). The identity of (Szilády, 1940) could not be assessed as the type specimens are lost. Thus, the name is considered as . The monophyly and composition of this species group are assessed through Maximum Parsimony and Maximum Likelihood analyses of the mitochondrial COI and nuclear 28S rRNA gene sequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.909.46838DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7015954PMC
February 2020

A world review of reported myiases caused by flower flies (Diptera: Syrphidae), including the first case of human myiasis from Palpada scutellaris (Fabricius, 1805).

Parasitol Res 2020 Mar 31;119(3):815-840. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

Departamento Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Alicante, Apartado 99, 03080, Alicante, Spain.

Rat-tailed larvae of the syrphid species Palpada scutellaris (Fabricius, 1805) are documented causing an enteric human myiasis in Costa Rica. This is the first time that the genus Palpada is recorded as a human myiasis agent. We report a 68-year-old woman with intestinal pain and bloody diarrhea with several live Palpada larvae present in the stool. Using molecular techniques (DNA barcodes) and both electronic and optical microscopy to study the external morphology, the preimaginal stages of the fly were unambiguously identified. An identification key to all syrphid genera actually known as agents of human and animal myiases is provided for larvae, puparia, and adults. Moreover, a critical world review of more than 100 references of Syrphidae as myiasis agents is also given, with emphasis on the species with rat-tailed larvae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-020-06616-4DOI Listing
March 2020

Predatory behavior of Synthesiomyia nudiseta larvae (Diptera: Muscidae) on several necrophagous blowfly species (Diptera: Calliphoridae).

Int J Legal Med 2019 Mar 20;133(2):651-660. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Alicante, E-03080 San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain.

Intraguild interactions play a prominent role in sarcosaprophagous communities, so intraspecific and interspecific competition phenomena between fly larvae take place. Synthesiomyia nudiseta is a species that has recently been recorded on human corpses in Europe, and it has been cited in forensic cases in Spain and Italy. The mature larvae are known to be facultative predators on necrophagous fly larvae, but their role as predators is unknown. The aim of this paper is to investigate the predatory behavior of S. nudiseta on the most abundant blowfly larvae in sarcosaprophagous communities in southwestern Europe (i.e., Chrysomya albiceps, Lucilia sericata, and Calliphora vicina). Intraspecific and interspecific competition experiments were carried out to study the effect of this species in the necrophagous diptera community. First-instar larvae were placed in plastic cups with the same amount of pig liver (15 g) at different densities (50, 100, 150, and 300 individuals/cup). Mortality in blowflies increased when S. nudiseta larvae were present: up to 98.40% in Ch. albiceps, 89.60% in L. sericata, and 84.93% in C. vicina. Pre-imaginal developmental time and adult wing size were analyzed and compared under each of the intraspecific and interspecific conditions; both variables were affected by competition in all cases. The implications of the presence of S. nudiseta for sarcosaprophagous community dynamics and its effect on the estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-018-1922-5DOI Listing
March 2019

Review of the Merodon albifasciatus Macquart species complex (Diptera: Syrphidae): the nomenclatural type located and its provenance discussed.

Zootaxa 2018 Jan 17;4374(1):25-48. Epub 2018 Jan 17.

University of Novi Sad, Department of Biology and Ecology, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia..

The Palaearctic Merodon geniculatus species group (Diptera, Syrphidae: Merodontini) currently comprises six Western Mediterranean species and four species with Eastern Mediterranean distribution. One of this group species, Merodon albifasciatus Macquart, 1842, is the only Merodon species listed from the Oriental Region. We discovered the lost holotype, which fit morphologically with European Merodon females of the M. albifasciatus species complex confirmed here and that occurs in the Palaearctic region. An integrative approach to the taxonomy of M. albifasciatus based on morphological and molecular evidences revealed the existence of two additional closely-related species in the Eastern Mediterranean area, M. luteofasciatus Vujić, Radenković Ståhls sp. nov. and M. neofasciatus Ståhls Vujić sp. nov.. The females of these three species can only be separated by molecular and distributional data. With the aim of stabilising species concepts within the complex, the taxon distributed in mainland Greece, including the Peloponnese was associated to the old female holotype of M. albifasciatus. The identity of Merodon fractipes Paramonov, described from Rhodes Island (Greece) as subspecies of M. geniculatus Strobl in Czerny Strobl, could not be resolved as the type specimen is lost. Thus the name M. fractipes is suppressed as nomen dubium. We discuss the distribution of the species of M. albifasciatus complex, identify host plants of M. neofasciatus, and provide an identification key to males of Eastern Mediterranean species of Merodon geniculatus group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4374.1.2DOI Listing
January 2018

Checklist and distribution maps of the blow flies of Venezuela (Diptera, Calliphoridae, Mesembrinellidae).

Zookeys 2017 13(645):103-132. Epub 2017 Jan 13.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Alicante, E-03080 Alicante, Spain.

A checklist of the 39 species of blow flies (Calliphoridae and Mesembrinellidae) so far known to occur in Venezuela is provided, based on a thorough literature review and the examination of ca. 500 specimens deposited in the main entomological collections of the country. Data from the literature and museum collections were used to generate distribution maps for 37 species. Three species are recorded from Venezuela for the first time: (Wiedemann, 1830), Aldrich, 1925 and Aldrich, 1922.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.645.6972DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5299227PMC
January 2017

Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction.

PLoS One 2016 4;11(5):e0153900. Epub 2016 May 4.

Departamento de Ciencias Naturales y Recursos Naturales / Instituto CIBIO, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain.

A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae) have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae) in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1) the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2) a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3) the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0153900PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4856264PMC
July 2017

Phylogeographic patterns of Merodon hoverflies in the Eastern Mediterranean region: revealing connections and barriers.

Ecol Evol 2016 Apr 4;6(7):2226-45. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Department of Environmental Sciences & Natural Resources/Research Institute CIBIO University of Alicante Apdo 99 E-03080 Alicante Spain.

We investigated the phylogeographic patterns of Merodon species (Diptera, Syrphidae) in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ten species were sampled on five different islands and mainland sites as a minimum. All samples were screened for their mtDNA COI barcode haplotype diversity, and for some samples, we additionally generated genomic fingerprints. The recently established zoogeographic distribution categories classify these species as having (1) Balkan distribution; (2) Anatolian distribution; (3) continental areas and large islands distribution; and (4) with wide distribution. The ancestral haplotypes and their geographical localities were estimated with statistical parsimony (TCS). TCS networks identified as the ancestral haplotype samples that originated from localities situated within the distributional category of the species in question. Strong geographical haplotype structuring was detected for many Merodon species. We were particularly interested to test the relative importance of current (Aegean Sea) and past Mid-Aegean Trench) barriers to dispersal for Merodon flies in the Aegean. We employed phylogenetic β-diversity (Pβ total) and its partition in replacement (Pβ repl) and richness difference (Pβ rich) to test the importance of each explanatory variable (interisland distance, MAT, and island area) in interisland differences using partial Mantel tests and hierarchical partitioning of variation. β-Analyses confirmed the importance of both current and past barriers to dispersal on the evolution of group. Current interisland distance was particularly important to explain the replacement of haplotypes, while the MAT was driving differences in richness of haplotypes, revealing the MAT as a strong past barrier whose effects are still visible today in the phylogenetic history of the clade in the Aegean. These results support the hypothesis of a highly restricted dispersal and gene flow among Merodon populations between islands since late Pleistocene. Additionally, patterns of phylogeographic structure deduced from haplotype connections and ISSR genome fingerprinting data revealed a few putative cases of human-mediated transfers of Merodon spp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4782255PMC
April 2016

Shift in phenotypic variation coupled with rapid loss of genetic diversity in captive populations of Eristalis tenax (Diptera: Syrphidae): consequences for rearing and potential commercial use.

J Econ Entomol 2014 Apr;107(2):821-32

Because of its importance as a pollinator and its potential economic usefulness for the biodegradation of organic animal waste, the genetic and phenotypic diversity of the drone fly, Eristalis tenax L. (Diptera: Syrphidae), was studied in both wild and captive populations from southeastern Europe. Wild specimens from a natural protected habitat (with low human impact), field crop habitat (semisynanthropic condition), and intensive pig farming habitat (synanthropic condition) were compared with a laboratory colony reared on artificial media An integrative approach was applied based on allozyme loci, cytochrome c oxidase I mitochondrial DNA, wing traits (size and shape), and abdominal color patterns. Our results indicate that the fourth and eighth generations of the laboratory colony show a severe lack of genetic diversity compared with natural populations. Reduced genetic diversity in subsequent generations (F4 and F8) of the laboratory colony was found to be linked with phenotypic divergence. Loss of genetic variability associated with phenotypic differentiation in laboratory samples suggests a founder effect, followed by stochastic genetic processes and inbreeding. Hence, our results have implications for captive bred Eristalis flies, which have been used in crop pollination and biodegradation of organic waste under synanthropic conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/ec13243DOI Listing
April 2014

SEM studies on immature stages of the drone flies (diptera, syrphidae): Eristalis similis (Fallen, 1817) and Eristalis tenax (Linnaeus, 1758).

Microsc Res Tech 2013 Aug 3;76(8):853-61. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Instituto Universitario CIBIO (Centro Iberoameriçano de la Biodiversidad), Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain.

Adult drone flies (Syrphidae: Eristalis spp.) resemble male honeybees in appearance. Their immature stages are commonly known as rat-tailed maggots due to the presence of a very long anal segment and a telescopic breathing tube. The larvae are associated with decaying organic material in liquid or semi-liquid media, as in the case of other saprophagous eristalines. Biological and morphological data were obtained from both laboratory cultures and sampling in the field. Drone flies are important pollinators for wild flowers and crops. In fact, mass rearing protocols of Eristalis species are being developed to be used as efficient alternative pollinators. However, deeper knowledge of larval morphology and biology is required to improve artificial rearing. The production quality control of artificial rearing must manage the consistency and reliability of the production output avoiding, for example contamination with similar species. This article presents the first description of the larva and puparium of E. similis, including a comparative morphological study of preimaginal stages of the anthropophilic and ubiquitous European hoverfly species E. tenax. Scanning electron microscopy has been used for the first time to describe larvae and puparia of both species. Moreover, the preimaginal morphology of E. similis has been compared with all known descriptions of the genus Eristalis. The main diagnostic characters of the preimaginal stages of E. similis are the morphology of the anterior spiracles (shape of clear area and arrangement of facets) and pupal spiracles (length, shape, and arrangement of tubercles).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jemt.22239DOI Listing
August 2013

Preimaginal morphology of the genera Salpingogaster Schiner, 1868 and Eosalpingogaster Hull, 1949 (Diptera: Syrphidae), with its systematic implications.

Zootaxa 2013 Jan 8;3599:361-70. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

Instituto Universitario CIBIO (Centro Iberoamericano de la Biodiversidad), Universidad de Alicante, Apartado 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain.; Email:

The puparium of Salpingogaster nigra and Eosalpingogaster umbra are described, and diagnosis and illustrations are provided. The morphology of immature stages of the genera Salpingogaster and Eosalpingogaster are studied and compared for the first time. The results are in agreement with previous molecular analyses that recognise both genera as valid. We found two different puparium morphotypes for E. umbra and discuss the improbability of immature sexual dimorphism in this species. An identification key is also provided for all species with known puparia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3599.4.4DOI Listing
January 2013

Biodegradation of pig manure by the housefly, Musca domestica: a viable ecological strategy for pig manure management.

PLoS One 2012 14;7(3):e32798. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia.

The technology for biodegradation of pig manure by using houseflies in a pilot plant capable of processing 500-700 kg of pig manure per week is described. A single adult cage loaded with 25,000 pupae produced 177.7±32.0 ml of eggs in a 15-day egg-collection period. With an inoculation ratio of 0.4-1.0 ml eggs/kg of manure, the amount of eggs produced by a single cage can suffice for the biodegradation of 178-444 kg of manure. Larval development varied among four different types of pig manure (centrifuged slurry, fresh manure, manure with sawdust, manure without sawdust). Larval survival ranged from 46.9±2.1%, in manure without sawdust, to 76.8±11.9% in centrifuged slurry. Larval development took 6-11 days, depending on the manure type. Processing of 1 kg of wet manure produced 43.9-74.3 g of housefly pupae and the weight of the residue after biodegradation decreased to 0.18-0.65 kg, with marked differences among manure types. Recommendations for the operation of industrial-scale biodegradation facilities are presented and discussed.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0032798PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3303781PMC
July 2012

Is the mega-diverse genus Ocyptamus (Diptera, Syrphidae) monophyletic? Evidence from molecular characters including the secondary structure of 28S rRNA.

Mol Phylogenet Evol 2012 Jan 29;62(1):191-205. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, MRC-0169, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA.

Phylogenetic relationships between two New World Syrphinae taxa (Diptera, Syrphidae), i.e. the highly diverse genus Ocyptamus and the large genus Toxomerus, were analysed based on molecular characters. The monophyly of both taxa was tested and the taxonomic status of included subgenera and species groups was examined. Toxomerus constitutes the monogeneric tribe Toxomerini with more than 140 described species, while Ocyptamus (tribe Syrphini) is a very diverse genus (over 300 spp.) with multiple recognised subgenera and species groups. Sequence data from three gene regions were used: the mitochondrial protein-coding gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and the nuclear 28S and 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The secondary structure of two expansion segments (D2, D3) of the ribosomal 28S RNA gene is presented for the family Syrphidae and used for the first time in a multiple sequence alignment. Molecular data were analysed using parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference. Toxomerus was always recovered as monophyletic within Ocyptamus, and relationships to other New World taxa such as Salpingogaster (Eosalpingogaster) were well-supported. Only the subgenera and species groups of Ocyptamus were consistently recovered as monophyletic lineages, thus the apparent non-monophyly of Ocyptamus demands reclassification of this clade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2011.09.014DOI Listing
January 2012

First record of Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) on human corpses in Iberian Peninsula.

Forensic Sci Int 2011 Mar 8;206(1-3):e76-8. Epub 2010 Dec 8.

Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales/Instituto Universitario CIBIO, Universidad de Alicante, PO Box 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain.

This article presents the first record of Hermetia illucens larvae on a human corpse in Spain (the second case report in Europe). Prepupae of H. illucens, and other insects, were recovered from the dead body of a 72-year-old man in an advanced stage of decomposition. The body was located in Reus (NE Spain), in October 1998. This article provides additional biological data on experimental studies and an update on the geographic distribution of this species in the Iberian Peninsula.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.10.021DOI Listing
March 2011

Molecular phylogeny of Allograpta (Diptera, Syrphidae) reveals diversity of lineages and non-monophyly of phytophagous taxa.

Mol Phylogenet Evol 2008 Dec 26;49(3):715-27. Epub 2008 Sep 26.

Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales/Instituto Universitario CIBIO, Universidad de Alicante, Apdo 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain.

Phylogenetic relationships of genera Allograpta, Sphaerophoria and Exallandra (Diptera, Syrphidae) were analyzed based on sequence data from the mitochondrial protein-coding gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and the nuclear 28S and 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The three genera are members of the subfamily Syrphinae, where nearly all members feed as larvae on soft-bodied Hemiptera and other arthropods. Phytophagous species have recently been discovered in two subgenera of Allograpta, sg Fazia and a new subgenus from Costa Rica. Phylogenetic analyses of the combined datasets were performed using parsimony, under static alignment and direct optimization, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference. Congruent topologies obtained from all the analyses indicate paraphyly of the genus Allograpta with respect to Sphaerophoria and Exallandra. Exallandra appears embedded in the genus Sphaerophoria, and both genera are placed within Allograpta. The distribution of phytophagous taxa in Allograpta indicates that plant feeding evolved at least twice in this group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2008.09.011DOI Listing
December 2008

Comparative morphology of early stages of two Mediterranean Sarcophaga Meigen, 1826 (Diptera; Sarcophagidae) and a review of the feeding habits of Palaearctic species.

Micron 2006 7;37(2):169-79. Epub 2005 Sep 7.

Instituto de la Biodiversidad (CIBIO), Universidad de Alicante, E-03080 Alicante, Spain.

The third instar larva of Sarcophaga hirticrus Pandellé, 1896 and Sarcophaga javita (Peris, González-Mora and Mingo, 1998) are described and figured for the first. The use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been demonstrated as an effective tool for determining differences at the specific level, and is here applied. The two species are distinguished from other Sarcophaga spp. and the principal diagnostic character states are illustrated and discussed. Comparative information on immature stages morphology of the described Palaearctic Sarcophaga species and its feeding habits are compiled and provided in a tabulated form.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micron.2005.07.013DOI Listing
March 2006