The quinaria species group is a Holarctic clade containing 32 described species (Baechli, 2019). This group has served as a model system for understanding the ecology of mycophagous Drosophilidae and, by extension, insect-host (Jaenike, 1978a, 1978b, 1995; Grimaldi and Jaenike, 1984; Jaenike and James, 1991) and insect-parasite associations (Perlman et al., 2003). Spicer and Jaenike (1996) have proposed a phylogeny of the quinaria species group to better understand the evolution of alpha-amanitin (a RNA polymerase II inhibitor which is toxic to species that are not adapted) tolerance and host use in this group. They find that D. phalerata and D. falleni are sister taxa, and basal to the remaining quinaria group species. Drosophila palustris and D. subpalustris are sister species within a larger clade also containing D. recens and D. quinaria. Drosophila guttifera occupies an intermediate position on the phylogeny.
These results are very similar to those of Perlman et al. (2003), which include a larger sample of the total number of species in this group. They recover two major clades in the quinaria group. The first contains D. falleni and D. phalerata. While not sister taxa, these species do fall out into a large clade containing D. brachynephros, D. unispina, D. curvispina, and D. innubila. The other major clade includes the sibling species D. palustris and D. subpalustris, along with another species, D. deflecta. Drosophila recens and D. quinaria are in a large clade containing D. limbata, D. munda, D. occidentalis, D. suboccidentalis, D. subquinaria, D. transversa, D. nigromaculata, D. guttifera, and D. kuntzei. The quinaria group, like several related immigrans-tripunctata species groups also possesses a diversity of abdominal pigmentation patterns.
(excerpted from Markow and O’Grady, 2006, Chapter 1)
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