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Empidoidea Higher Classification

Morphology, higher-level phylogeny and classification of the Empidoidea

Bradley J. Sinclair and Jeffrey M. Cumming

The document offered here is a high resolution pdf version (7 MB) of a paper published in 2006 by Sinclair and Cumming (Zootaxa 1180: 1-172, 424 figures) that revises the classification of the Empidoidea, based on a cladistic analysis of the superfamily. The abstract is reprinted below.


A cladistic analysis of the Empidoidea and basal lineages of the Cyclorrhapha, based on
morphological characters, confirms the monophyly of both groups as well as that of the
Eremoneura. The resulting final trees are used to revise the classification of the Empidoidea to
include the following five families: Empididae, Hybotidae, Atelestidae (including Nemedininae n.
), Brachystomatidae rev. stat. (comprising the subfamilies Brachystomatinae,
Ceratomerinae and Trichopezinae), and Dolichopodidae s.lat. The family Microphoridae is not
recognized, and the Microphorinae and Parathalassiinae are assigned to the Dolichopodidae s.lat.
The Dolichopodidae s.str. includes 15 subfamilies that were previously recognized within the
family. Within the Empidoidea we found support for Atelestidae as the sister group to the
Hybotidae and for the monophyly of Parathalassiinae + Dolichopodidae s.str. The Empididae
remains poorly defined and the genera Homalocnemis Philippi, Iteaphila Zetterstedt,
Anthepiscopus Becker, and Oreogeton Schiner are classified as incertae sedis within the
Empidoidea. In addition, the following higher taxa are proposed: Symballophthalmini n. tribe,
Bicellariini n. tribe, Oedaleinae rev. stat., and Trichininae rev. stat., which are all assigned to the
Hybotidae. The genus Sematopoda Collin is tentatively assigned to Trichopezinae, and
Xanthodromia Saigusa is transferred from Hemerodromiinae to Brachystomatinae.

All morphological characters are extensively discussed and illustrated, including details of the
antennae, mouthparts, internal thoracic structures, wings, and male and female terminalia. In
addition, a key to families and unplaced genus groups of the Empidoidea is provided. Feeding
habits are also discussed in terms of the empidoid ground plan condition.

View the PDF file of the Publication (7 MB)

This publication can be cited as follows:
Sinclair, B.J. and Cumming, J.M. The morphology, higher-level phylogeny and classification of the Empidoidea (Diptera). Zootaxa 1180: 1-172.
Also available from: http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/taxa/Diptera.html.

First published on the Internet on 26 May, 2006
J.M. Cumming