The tripunctata species group was erected by Sturtevant (1942), based on material from two species. Since that time, this group has been divided into four subgroups (Frota-Pessoa, 1954) containing over 70 described species (Baechli, 2005). The tripunctata species group is mostly Neotropical in distribution, with its center of species diversity in Brasil. Only the nominal species, D. tripunctata, is found in the Nearctic region, where it is widespread in the eastern United States. Kastristis (1966) examined the polytene chromosomes of some species in this group, but those data are not amenable to coding for a phylogenetic study. In fact, the tripunctata species group is a very large, poorly studied group that has not been extensively studied using explicit phylogenetic methodology. This is unfortunate because, much like the cardini species group, this clade displays a high diversity of abdominal pigmentation patterns.
(excerpted from Markow and O’Grady, 2006, Chapter 1)
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