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Revista Brasileira de Entomologia

Print version ISSN 0085-5626On-line version ISSN 1806-9665


ZANINI, Rebeca; DEPRA, Maríndia  and  VALENTE, Vera Lúcia da Silva. Can sibling species of the Drosophila willistoni subgroup be recognized through combined microscopy techniques?. Rev. Bras. entomol. [online]. 2015, vol.59, n.4, pp.323-331. ISSN 0085-5626.

In several arthropod groups, male genitalia is the most important feature for species identification, especially in cryptic species. Cryptic species are very common in the Drosophila genus, and the Neotropical Drosophila willistoni species group is a good example. This group currently includes 24 species divided into three subgroups: alagitans, bocainensis and willistoni. There are six sibling species in the willistoni subgroup – D. willistoni, D. insularis, D. tropicalis, D. equinoxialis, D. pavlovskiana and D. paulistorum, which is a species complex composed of six semispecies – Amazonian, Andean-Brazilian, Centroamerican, Interior, Orinocan and Transitional. The objective of this study was to characterize male genitalia of the willistoni subgroup, including the D. paulistorum species complex, using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. We also tried to contribute to the identification of these cryptic species and to add some comments about evolutionary history, based on male genitalia characters. Despite being cryptic species, some differences were found among the siblings, including the Drosophila paulistorum semispecies.

Keywords : Cryptic species; Drosophila willistoni subgroup; Drosophila paulistorum complex; Male genitalia; Semispecies.

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