The modified mouthpart species group is a large, diverse group of Hawaiian Drosophila whose monophyly and relationships have not been well tested. This is perhaps the largest species group of Hawaiian Drosophila and may contain close to 150 species when all known material has been described. Modified mouthpart species utilize nearly every ecological niche observed in the remaining groups of Hawaiian Drosophila (Heed, 1968; Magnacca et al., 2008). These species are linked by modifications to their mouthparts, including additional thickened setae or, in some cases, appendages. Such characters, which are possessed only by males, are believed to be used during courtship and mating (Spieth, 1968).
Several subgroups within the modified mouthpart species group have been proposed. Hardy & Kaneshiro (1968) erected the semifuscata subgroup to contain those species with extensive patterns of infuscation on the wings. Hardy and Kaneshiro (1975a) proposed the mitchelli subgroup based on the setation patterns on the labellae of males. The mimica subgroup is defined by having a large, pointed curvate seta on the apicomedial margin of the labellum (O’Grady et al., 2003b). The subgroups have been redefined to more accurately reflect characters of mouthpart morphology, and additional ones proposed to cover the full range of the group (Magnacca & O’Grady, 2006), but a number of unplaced species remain. At least one species, D.adventitia, appears to be more closely related to the picture wing clade than to the other modified mouthpart species (Bonacum, 2001).
(excerpted from O’Grady et al., 2008)
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