Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version



Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution Vol. 16, No. 2, August, pp. 286–295, 2000 doi:10.1006/mpev.2000.0807.


U.S. government work.


The complete mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II gene was sequenced from 17 black flies, representing 13 putative species, and used to infer phylogenetic relationships. A midge (Paratanytarsus sp.) and three mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti, Anopheles quadrimaculatus, and Culex quinquefasciatus) were used as outgroup taxa. All outgroup taxa were highly divergent from black flies. Phylogenetic trees based on weighted parsimony (a priori and a posteriori), maximum likelihood, and neighbor-joining (log-determinant distances) differed topologically, with deeper nodes being the least well-supported. All analyses supported current classification into species groups but relationships among those groups were poorly resolved. The majority of phylogenetic signal came from closely related sister taxa. The CO-II gene may be useful for exploring relationships at or below the subgeneric level, but is of questionable value at higher taxonomic levels. The weighting method employed gave phylogenetic results similar to those reported by other authors for other insect CO-II data sets. A best estimate of phylogenetic relationships based on the CO-II gene is presented and discussed in relation to current black fly classification.