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Areas of endemism and spatial diversification of the Muscidae (Insecta: Diptera) in the Andean and Neotropical regions

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Abstract Aim 

We present a biogeographical analysis of the areas of endemism and areas of diversification in the Muscidae. This analysis searched for geographical patterns in the Muscidae to reconstruct elements of the evolutionary biogeographical history of this insect family. Location 

Andean and Neotropical regions. Method 

We constructed a geographic database of 728 species from the literature and museum specimens. Areas of endemism were established by parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE) based on grids of two different sizes: 5° (550 × 550 km) and 2° (220 × 220 km). Areas of diversification were delimited by track analysis that also included phylogenetic information. This process was independently applied to 11 genera. For each genus, we plotted generalized tracks generated by sister species on a map. When these generalized tracks supported inter-generic nodes they were manually contoured and inferred to be areas of diversification for the Muscidae. Results 

Thirteen endemic areas were found using the 5° grid, and eight endemic areas resulted from the 2° grid. Ten areas were in agreement with previous studies, and 11 were new. Amazonian and Atlantic areas of diversification agreed with previous areas for the genus Polietina, and new areas of diversification were found in Panama and in central Chile. Main conclusions 

Six spatial patterns in the Muscidae were identified: (1) areas of endemism in both Pampa and Puna provinces were established with species whose distributions had not previously been analysed; (2) a new area of endemism was established in extreme southern South America, in Tierra del Fuego; (3) two new areas of diversification, which include Panama and central Chile, were identified; (4) a spatial association was identified between the separation of Chiloe Island from the continent and the diversification in Andean species; (5) a north–south track axis and latitudinal node intervals were identified, interpreted as spatial responses to glaciation or glacial retreat in the Andes; and (6) a spatial coincidence of areas of endemism, of diversification and high species richness in the Muscidae was discovered. The analysis of a complete database and the recognition of areas of diversification are extremely important in elucidating novel biogeographical patterns, which will in turn contribute to a better understanding of the geographical patterns of evolution in the Muscidae.
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Keywords: Andean region; Muscidae; Neotropical region; PAE; areas of endemism; diversification; insects; track analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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