melanica species group

Members of the melanica group have been reported from a sap and slime fluxes on a number of species, including red oak, black locust, elm, and willow (Throckmorton, 1975). There are currently 12 described species in this group (Baechli, 2019). According to Throckmorton (1975), all species in this group can be readily cultured in the laboratory. This group is related to other members of the virilis-repleta radiation (Throckmorton, 1975; Tatarenkov and Ayala, 2001; Remsen and O’Grady, 2002).

Stalker (1966) examined the phylogenetic relationships of some members of the melanica group using polytene chromosome banding patterns, interspecific hybridization studies, and geographic distribution. He considered D. micromelanica and D. nigromelanica to be the basal-most members of this group. Drosophila melanura, D. euronotus, and the D. melanica– D. paramelanica sibling pair are successively more derived. Flores et al. (2008) used molecular characters to examine the phylogenetic relationships of this group while studying the novel evolution of sex-linked chromosomes in the melanica and robusta species groups.

(excerpted from Markow and O’Grady, 2006, Chapter 1)

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