Molecular phylogeny of Allograpta
Phylogenetic relationships of genera Allograpta, Sphaerophoria and Exallandra (Diptera, Syrphidae) were analyzed based on sequence data from the mitochondrial protein-coding gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and the nuclear 28S and 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The three genera are members of the subfamily Syrphinae, where nearly all members feed as larvae on soft-bodied Hemiptera and other arthropods. Phytophagous species have recently been discovered in two subgenera of Allograpta, sg Fazia and a new subgenus from Costa Rica. Phylogenetic analyses of the combined datasets were performed using parsimony, under static alignment and direct optimization, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference. Congruent topologies obtained from all the analyses indicate paraphyly of the genus Allograpta with respect to Sphaerophoria and Exallandra. Exallandra appears embedded in the genus Sphaerophoria, and both genera are placed within Allograpta. The distribution of phytophagous taxa in Allograpta indicates that plant feeding evolved at least twice in this group.