CULICOMORPHA, Hennig, 1948

Sinclair, Bradley J., Borkent, Art & Wood, D. Monty, 2007, The male genital tract and aedeagal components of the Diptera with a discussion of their phylogenetic significance, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 150 (4), pp. 711-742: 737-738

publication ID 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2007.00314.x

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Saether (2000) suggested that the family Nymphomyiidae   was, either alone or together with the Thaumaleidae   , the sister group of the remaining Culicomorpha   . The style of his presentation, which presented merely a list of character states, a matrix, and concluding cladograms, has made it very difficult to clearly identify the characters used to support these conclusions. We have tentatively determined the following characters from Saether (2000) to be possible synapomorphies for the assignment of Nymphomyiidae   : character 4 (reduced number of male flagellomeres); 12 (posterior veins of wing reduced); 14(?) (radial vein with two sectors); 19(?) (gonocoxite with lobes). None of these characters appears very convincing, all are homoplastic, and in our opinion offer little support for the inclusion of Nymphomyiidae   in the Culicomorpha   .

Specimens of Nymphomyiidae   were made available for this study, but only a long longitudinal mass could be observed anterior to the aedeagus. The methods used in this study were not adequate for interpreting such minute specimens and serial sectioning of appropriately preserved material is required. The details of the aedeagus remain uncertain, although the aedeagus appears to be tube-like and weakly sclerotized ( Courtney, 1994). It is unlikely that there is a need for a spermatophore (or spermathecae, etc.), as the males and females of at least some species, and perhaps all, oviposit and die in copula ( Courtney, 1994).