Systematics of Window Flies

Project Timeline: 6/1/2007-5/31/2011

The flies contain many species that impact significantly on humans; numerous species are important pests of food production as well as veterinary and medical importance. Resolving the phylogenetic relationships of flies as a means of understanding how these insects evolved and diversified is one of the significant tasks in discovering the tree-of-life. One such group of flies, the Window flies (family Scenopinidae) have a tremendous wealth of unexplored biological and taxonomic diversity that remains to be documented world-wide. This project will comprise a multifaceted study of window fly evolutionary relationships using both molecular and morphological data. This will be combined with the development of databases and interactive identification aids for dissemination via the internet.

This study has a range of broader impacts, including professional career building, public outreach and presentations, conference seminars, and training and mentoring for undergraduates and summer interns. In addition the project will result in traditional and online publications and will enhance direct collaborations between institutions and existing NSF projects on dipteran phylogenetics. The development of online resources such as taxonfocused websites is a significant product of this proposal. The WINDOW FLY website will consolidate for the scientific community and general public research products such as an online catalog, systematics pages, bibliography, family, genus and species web pages, image galleries and cross-platform interactive keys.