The four species in the nannoptera group are found in the desert regions of the North and South America (Baechli, 2005). The phylogeny of the nannoptera group has been inferred using polytene chromosome banding patterns (Ward and Heed, 1970). Their results show that D. wassermani (a species referred to as “species W” and described by Pitnick and Heed, 1994) and D. nannoptera are sister taxa. With the exception of a single heterozygous inversion in D. nannoptera, these two species are homosequential. Drosophila acanthoptera is the sister taxon of the D. wassermani–D. nannoptera clade, and D. pachea is basal in this group. A fifth species in this group has recently been discovered in southern Mexico (unpublished observation). Most of the nannoptera species can be cultured in the laboratory, although some require special diets (Markow & O’Grady, 2005). Additional systematic work on the nannoptera group, especially using molecular characters, should be performed to test relationships within this clade.
(excerpted from Markow and O’Grady, 2006, Chapter 1)
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