Author Profile

Michelle D. Trautwein

Affiliation: Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC 27695

Recent Posts

Overcoming the effects of rogue taxa: Evolutionary relationships of the bee flies


Bombyliidae (~5000 sp.), or bee flies, are a lower brachyceran family of flower-visiting flies that, as larvae, act as parasitoids of other insects. The evolutionary relationships are known from a morphological analysis that yielded minimal support for higher-level groupings. We use the protein-coding gene CAD and 28S rDNA to determine phylogeny and to test the monophyly of existing subfamilies, the divisions Tomophthalmae, and ‘the sand chamber subfamilies’. Additionally, we demonstrate that consensus networks can be used to identify rogue taxa in a Bayesian framework. Pruning rogue taxa post-analysis from the final tree distribution results in increased posterior probabilities. We find 8 subfamilies to be monophyletic and the subfamilies Heterotropinae and Mythicomyiinae to be the earliest diverging lineages. The large subfamily Bombyliinae is found to be polyphyletic and our data does not provide evidence for the monophyly of Tomophthalmae or the ‘sand chamber subfamilies’.