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... We here qualitatively and quantitatively compare sexual selection in the field and the laboratory across a guild of closely related black scavenger, ensign or dung flies (Diptera: Sepsidae; Pont & Meier, 2002;Ang et al., 2013) in a microevolutionary context. Multiple widespread species of this group with similar ecological niches coexist in Europe and beyond. ...
... Sepsid flies have received considerable research attention in evolutionary ecology because of their diverse, fast-evolving mating behaviours (Eberhard, 2001a(Eberhard, , 2003Kraushaar & Blanckenhorn, 2002;Martin & Hosken, 2004;Mühlh€ auser & Blanckenhorn, 2002;Puniamoorthy, 2014;Tan, Ng, & Meier, 2011) and their conspicuous secondary sexual morphology (male forelegs and genitals: Eberhard, 2001b;Pont & Meier, 2002;Bowsher & Nijhout, 2009;Bowsher, Ang, Ferderer, & Meier, 2013;Herath, Dochtermann, Johnson, Leonard, & Bowsher, 2015;. Mating systems range from species with classic female choice and male courtship to species with male scramble or contest competition, with associated changes in mating behaviour, morphology and life history (Puniamoorthy et al, 2008(Puniamoorthy et al, , 2009. ...
... Mating systems range from species with classic female choice and male courtship to species with male scramble or contest competition, with associated changes in mating behaviour, morphology and life history (Puniamoorthy et al, 2008(Puniamoorthy et al, , 2009. At least four sepsid species commonly studied populate both Europe and North America (Saltella sphondylii, Sepsis biflexuosa, Sepsis neocynipsea, Sepsis punctum: Pont & Meier, 2002), of which the latter two feature independent intraspecific shifts from the ancestral female-choice-dominated mating system with female-biased sexual size dimorphism (SSD) to a system characterized by male emale competition and male-biased SSD that is associated with an increase in investment in male ornaments or armaments (Dmitriew & Blanckenhorn, 2012, 2014Rohner, Blanckenhorn, & Puniamoorthy, 2016;; Table 1). Most species can be held, bred and observed in the laboratory under seminatural conditions on the same substrate (cow dung), permitting direct comparison of (among other things) mating behaviour and mate choice. ...
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Phenomenological and behavioural studies have greatly advanced the study of natural selection. Field studies of selection well appraise the natural situation, but is this also true for laboratory studies, which are typically more mechanistic? We compared precopulatory sexual selection (mating differential based on pairing success) in field and laboratory of several closely related, ecologically similar black scavenger dung flies (Diptera: Sepsidae). Selection on fore femur (sexual trait) and wing size (nonsexual trait) and shape varied considerably among seven species and continental populations in agreement with variation in their mating system and sexual size dimorphism. Selection on trait size was mostly positive or nil, but never significantly negative, implying mating advantages of large males in most species. Strongest selection was found in species/populations with male-biased size dimorphism, associating evolutionary shifts from female- to male-biased dimorphism with intensified sexual selection for large male size by adding male –male competition to a mating system previously driven primarily by female choice. Although sexual selection on shape was closely aligned with allometric shape variation, selection on fore femur shape was more consistent than selection on wing shape, which was absent in most species. Sexual selection intensities, but not necessarily the underlying behavioural mechanisms, were overall similar in field and laboratory, suggesting that laboratory assessments well represent the natural situation. If this conclusion can be generalized, it would lend credence to the strategy of using controlled laboratory mating studies to better understand natural selection, behaviour and ecology, at least for smaller animals that can be held in captivity.
... Diptera: Brachycera: Sepsidae. Many of the small (2-6 mm) scavenger flies, identified by their unusually spherical heads and ant-like shape, feed on insect carrion (Pont & Meier 2002). They may associate with spiders in their search for this carrion (Figures 2:2, 5;Hill et al. 2019). ...
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Kleptoparasitic flies that associate with predatory insects and spiders are also vulnerable to the attacks of salticid spiders.
... Sepsidae is a global distributed fly family with more than 320 described species (Ozerov 2005), and it is a relatively small, morphologically and ecologically uniform family of the Sciomyzoiedea in the acalyptrate series of Diptera (Pont and Meier 2002). Sepsis monostigma (Thmpson,1869) is a rather important model-organisms insect and a sanitary fly of biological significance, which can perify the ecosystem (Li et al. 2015). ...
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The sepsid fly Sepsis monostigma belongs to the genus Sepsis of Sepsidae. We sequenced and annotated the mitogenome of S. monostigma which as the first representative of genus Sepsis with nearly complete mitochondrial data. This mitogenome is 14,887bp long, which contains of 22 transfer RNA genes, 13 protein coding genes (PCGs) and 2 ribosomal RNA genes and a part of the AT control region. ML phylogenetic outcome strongly supported the monophyly of Sepsidae, and the family Sepsidae is more close to the family Heleomyzidae. It also indicated that the genus Sepsis is the sister group to Nemopoda, and the genus Archisepsis is the sister group to Microsepsis.
... The adult arthropods collected during the observation time and by the Berlese funnel on soil samples were stored in 60% ethanol and taxonomically identified at the maximum possible level using keys [25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41]. Concerning the dipteran larvae collected by tweezers, they were reared to adults in plastic boxes containing a layer of sand covered with about 100 g bovine liver, at a temperature similar to that of field collection. ...
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Burial could be used by criminals to conceal the bodies of victims, interfering with the succession of sarcosaprophagous fauna and with the evaluation of post-mortem interval. In Italy, no experimental investigation on arthropods associated with buried remains has been conducted to date. A first experimental study on arthropods associated with buried carcasses was carried out in a rural area of Arcavacata di Rende (Cosenza), Southern Italy, from November 2017 to May 2018. Six pig carcasses (Susscrofa Linnaeus) were used, five of which were buried in 60-cm deep pits, leaving about 25-cm of soil above each carcass, and one was left above ground. One of the buried carcasses was periodically exhumed to evaluate the effects of disturbance on decay processes and on arthropod fauna. The other four carcasses were exhumed only once, respectively after 43, 82, 133, and 171 days. As expected, the decay rate was different among carcasses. Differences in taxa and colonization of arthropod fauna were also detected in the above ground and periodically exhumed carcasses. In carcasses exhumed only once, no arthropod colonization was detected. The results showed that a burial at about 25 cm depth could be sufficient to prevent colonization by sarcosaprophagous taxa and these data could be relevant in forensic cases involving buried corpses.
... The samples were identified by using Hassan et al. (2017). Adult morphological terminologies and genitalic terminologies follow by Pont & Meier (2002). The identified specimens are deposited at the National Insect Museum (NIM), Islamabad, Pakistan and in the personal collection of first author for future studies. ...
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The Oriental Asian species, Saltella setigera (Diptera: Sepsidae), that previously recorded based on a single male specimen from Shakargarh, Punjab province of Pakistan, is revised. During our recent collection from the Northern parts of Pakistan, both male and female specimens have been collected from Islamabad Capital Territory and Azad Kashmir, shows the wide distribution of this rarely known species and may expect to identify from other areas adjoining to these collection sites in future. The distributional notes, key characters, re-description, and detail photographs of both sexes are provided.
... Different acalyptrate families seem to have evolutionary patterns that diverge to some degree. The extinct Eocene Baltic amber Protorygma (Evenhuis, 1994), for example, is seen either as a stem Sepsidae or a stem Ropalomeridae (Pont & Meier, 2002), meaning either of these groups could be approximately Eocene in age. The Sepsidae have only one or two subclades that diversify in the Neotropical region (Su et al., 2008(Su et al., , 2015. ...
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The Chloropidae is a species-rich family of flies with about 3000 species in four subfamilies. The Chloropinae is the second most species-rich subfamily with almost 1000 described species in 75 accepted genera. There is agreement about the monophyly of the subfamily; however, the relationships among the genera are still poorly understood and some genera are clearly paraphyletic. Thus, the interpretation of the evolution of morphological traits, such as male terminalia sclerites, remains challenging. This is the first phylogenetic study of the Chloropinae using a formal analytical approach, including representatives of 73 genera of the subfamily and 124 morphological characters. The monophyly of the Chloropinae is corroborated. Chloropella is sister to the remainder of the subfamily. Slightly different analytical procedures show stable clades and rogue taxa. We propose a system for the subfamily with ten tribes, three of which are newly proposed here—Chloropellini trib. nov., Chloropini, Chloropsinini trib. nov., Diplotoxini, Eurinini stat. nov., Lasiosinini, Mepachymerini, Meromyzini, Mindini and Pseudothaumatomyini. Eight genera are kept incertae sedis and two new genera are erected. There is compelling evidence that Chlorops and Ectecephalina are paraphyletic.
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The faunistic knowledge of the Diptera of Morocco recorded from 1787 to 2021 is summarized and updated in this first catalogue of Moroccan Diptera species. A total of 3057 species, classified into 948 genera and 93 families (21 Nematocera and 72 Brachycera), are listed. Taxa (superfamily, family, genus and species) have been updated according to current interpretations, based on reviews in the literature, the expertise of authors and contributors, and recently conducted fieldwork. Data to compile this catalogue were primarily gathered from the literature. In total, 1225 references were consulted and some information was also obtained from online databases. Each family was reviewed and the checklist updated by the respective taxon expert(s), including the number of species that can be expected for that family in Morocco. For each valid species, synonyms known to have been used for published records from Morocco are listed under the currently accepted name. Where available, distribution within Morocco is also included. One new combination is proposed: Assuania melanoleuca (Séguy, 1941), comb. nov. (Chloropidae).
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Full-text available
The faunistic knowledge of the Diptera of Morocco recorded from 1787 to 2021 is summarized and updated in this first catalogue of Moroccan Diptera species. A total of 3057 species, classified into 948 genera and 93 families (21 Nematocera and 72 Brachycera), are listed. Taxa (superfamily, family, genus and species) have been updated according to current interpretations, based on reviews in the literature, the expertise of authors and contributors, and recently conducted fieldwork. Data to compile this catalogue were primarily gathered from the literature. In total, 1225 references were consulted and some information was also obtained from online databases. Each family was reviewed and the checklist updated by the respective taxon expert(s), including the number of species that can be expected for that family in Morocco. For each valid species, synonyms known to have been used for published records from Morocco are listed under the currently accepted name. Where available, distribution within Morocco is also included. One new combination is proposed: Assuania melanoleuca (Séguy, 1941), comb. nov. (Chloropidae)
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Lispe (Diptera: Muscidae) is a cosmopolitan genus of predatory flies that inhabit the muddy and sandy surrounds of water bodies. There are more than 163 described species worldwide, many of which are known to exhibit cursorial courtship displays which involve complex visual and vibratory signals. Despite the widespread distribution of these flies and their remarkable courtship displays, the biology and behaviour of most species are entirely unknown. Here, for the first time, we describe the precopulatory mating behaviours of three widespread and common Australian species: Lispe sydneyensis, Lispe albimaculata and Lispe xenochaeta. We demonstrate that all three species exhibit entirely unique courtship displays, consisting of complex behavioural repertoires. Importantly, we highlight intra‐sexual competition in L. sydneyensis, where males engage in competitive dances and combat. We also report female–male aggression in L. albimaculata and L. xenochaeta where females charge and display towards males. These novel mating systems provide unique opportunities to test ecological and evolutionary hypotheses.
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The swarming behaviour of Sepsis fulgens Meigen is discussed, and various aspects of this behavioural phenomenon are analysed.Examples of swarms and observations upon them are given, from published and unpublished sources. The identity of the swarming species is discussed, and then the characteristics of the swarm, the swarming site, size, duration, activity, sex ratio, scent and enemies are summarized. A discussion of some of these aspects follows, and finally a hypothesis is put forward as to the probable function of the swarm: it is suggested that it is a hibernation phenomenon.The infestation of domestic and commercial premises by Sepsis violacea Meigen is briefly reviewed.
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Small size may be advantageous to males that mate on the wing. This hypothesis is supported by the results of a comparison of size in males that mate and those that do not. Six species of Diptera (four chironomids, one sepsid and one scatophagid) are examined and in all six, smaller males are more successful at acquiring mates than larger males. Aerobatic ability may be conferred by small size and, if this is so, it could explain why smaller males achieve greater success. The conclusion that small size carries a selective advantage contrasts with the conventional view that large size is a universal determinant of mating success among males.
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Males of the dung flySepsis cynipsea(L.) (Diptera: Sepsidae) mate guard before copulation by mounting the female's dorsum upon her arrival at the dung. After completing oviposition, females walk off the dung and vigorously shake to attempt to dislodge the guarding male. Only males that succeed in remaining on the female's dorsum will establish genital contact and copulate. Males are smaller than females, and engage wing clamps (specially modified areas on the femur and tibia of each foreleg) to grip the female's wing bases during guarding. The foretibiae of males and females collected at three phases of pairing (prior to struggling, during struggling and in copula) were measured. No differences in the foretibia size of either males or females across the three phases were found. However, the absolute fluctuating asymmetry of the foretibiae of males differed significantly between phases. On average, males paired in copula were the most symmetrical whilst those paired prior to struggling were the least symmetrical. It was concluded that males with more symmetrical foretibiae are indirectly selected as mates by females because of their better competitive ability to grip the female's wing bases and thereby remain on the dorsum of a struggling female during guarding.
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An account is given of seven collections of insects and spiders made in summer 1979 on snowfields above 1100m elevation in the Cairngorm mountains, Scotland. In one comprehensive collection 278 recently deposited animals representing 35 species were obtained in 25 m; the other collections were selective. A high proportion of the roughly 700 specimens obtained have been identified. They represent at least 130 species, including 12 species of Araneae and 34 species each of Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Diptera. Only 10 species are known to be restricted to ‘montane’ environments and it is concluded that the composition of fallout on mountain snowfields, both in Britain and elsewhere, reflects mainly the nature of the vegetation, and thus of the insect communities, in upwind areas at lower elevations. The discussion concerns the significance of fallout as a resource for high altitude communities and as a manifestation of long-distance migration and potential gene flow among populations of terrestrial arthropods.
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SOME species of Diptera utilize freshly dropped cattle dung (cow pats) not only as an oviposition site and larval habitat but also as a male aggregation site where mating occurs1,2. The present investigation shows that the males of some of these species protect their mates, thus preventing the mating activity of the preponderant and aggressive unpaired males from interfering with oviposition. Such co-operative behaviour is most striking in the cosmopolitan yellow dung fly, Scatophaga stercoraria (L.) (Anthomyiidae), but also exists in Saltella sphondylii (Schrank) (Sepsidae) and Copromyza atra (Meigen) (Sphaeroceridae); these three species are closely related only in an ecological sense.
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Themira athabasca n. sp. from Circle, Alaska is described, and a revised key to nearctic Themira is given. The sexual morphology and mating behavior of the sympatric arctic and midwestern U. S. species indicate that communities in these habitats demonstrate the parallel evolution of these characteristics. Sexual selection for mating efficiency is proposed as the evolutionary force responsible for the similarity of the communities.
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Full-sib heritabilities, phenotypic and genetic correlations of 10 morphological and three life history traits in the European dung fly Sepsis cynipsea are presented. We further supply a within-species test of Cheverud's (1988) conjecture that phenotypic correlations may be good, and much easier to obtain, substitutes for genetic correlations. Males were smaller in all traits except fore femur width. Heritabilities of morphological traits ranged from 0.33 to 0.90 and tended to be higher than the average reported for ectotherms (Mousseau & Roff, 1987). Those for the three female life history traits estimated were lower (0.16–0.32) and about average. Genetic correlations between the sexes ranged from 0.52 to 0.87 and were all less than unity. Differential selection on morphology in males and females can thus be expected to produce fast evolutionary responses in this species. Our analysis revealed also that in S. cynipsea phenotypic correlations are good substitutes for genetic correlations for combinations involving morphological traits, and that genetic correlations derived from the ANCOVA and the family mean methods were very similar. However, the former correspondence may be strongly reduced by the inclusion of particular traits (here male seta length).Keywords: genetic correlation, heritability, life history, morphology, phenotypic correlation, sexual size dimorphism
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The sheep headfly, Hydrotaea irritans, and Morellia simplex were the species most frequently associated with cattle at pasture and comprised 69.01 per cent and 13.93 per cent, respectively, of the total fly collection made from grazing cattle. The most prevalent biting fly was Haematobosca stimulans which comprised 4.46 per cent of the total catch. A few clegs, Haematopota pluvialis, and horse flies, Hybomitra distinguenda, were also recorded. A few of the headflies swarming around cattle entered milking parlours and byres and made up, at 38.23 per cent, the highest percentage of the total fly collection from these buildings. Headflies congregated on the windows, particularly those in the roof. Lesser numbers of the flies, Hydrotaea albipuncta, Morellia simplex and Trichopticoides decolor, with similar feeding habits to H irritans were also collected from these windows with a number of those species attracted to excrement. The biting muscids, Stomoxys calcitrans and Haematobosca stimulans, were collected mainly from the outside surfaces at the entrance to milking parlours and byres and comprised 23.53 per cent and 11.18 per cent, respectively, of the total fly collection from these buildings. Stomoxys calcitrans, the stable fly was present on every sample taken from calf houses and comprised 63.79 per cent of the total fly collection from these houses. Two other species, Sepsis violacea and the common housefly Musca domestica, were present on occasions in significant numbers and comprised 20.69 per cent and 9.48 per cent, respectively, of the total fly collection from calf houses.