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Flies

I've been looking for a current listing of North American fly families and found this page at the USDA's Diptera site. It incorporates many (all?) of the current family-level splits used by European dipterists. I think the main changes for the stuff currently in Bugguide would be splitting the Tipulidae into extra families, moving both of the photos currently in Mycetophilidae to Keroplatidae, renaming Otitidae to Ulidiidae (is this possible?), and re-ordering the families. I think using the 3-part higher classification (Nematocera, lower Brachycera, and Cyclorrhapha) used in that list would also be handy, since we currently have 8 pages of families to browse through if you don't use the Taxonomy tab. If there aren't any objections I'll implement this soon.

Eristalini (Syrphidae)
On the USDA's The Diptera Site that Joel mentioned in his original comment above, there's a link to a searchable Nomenclator that gives current status and other info on fly species, genera, etc.

BugGuide currently treats Anasimyia, Asemosyrphus, and Polydontomyia as genera here, but the Nomenclator lists these as subgenera of Lejops, a genus that contains 7 subgenera.

In order to follow the USDA classification, we would have to create a Lejops page and 3 subgenus pages under it to accommodate the 3 names mentioned above. But since BugGuide doesn't have a Subgenus category, I suggest that we rename Anasimyia to Lejops, move the species currently under Asemosyrphus and Polydontomyia to the Lejops page, and then delete the Asemosyrphus and Polydontomyia pages.

 
Anasimyia to Lejops etc.
The changes described in the last sentence above have been made, reflecting the classifcation at the USDA's The Diptera Site.

Suborders
The Taxonomy Page for Diptera currently has 5 “No Taxa? categories. I did some ‘research’ into Diptera classification and it is really complex. However, there does seem to be agreement that there are 2 Suborders: Nematocera and Brachycera. The difficulties arise within the Suborder Brachycera. I’m proposing that we make Nematocera a Suborder, add Brachycera as a Suborder and include the current 4 ‘no taxa’ groups, i.e., Orthorrhapha, Aschiza, Calyptratae, and Acalyptratae in the Brachycera. These latter 4 will still be ‘no taxa’.

Anthony W. Thomas

 
Suborders
I wouldn't have a major objection to this, but I don't think it would be particularly helpful either. The traditional division is indeed into the Nematocera and the Brachycera, but the Nematocera are a paraphyletic group, so this division doesn't really make sense. My preference is for reserving formal group names for monophyletic groups and using No Taxa level for other groupings which are the "everything else" which doesn't fit within a monophyletic group. Currently, four of the five subdivisions of Diptera in the guide are probably paraphyletic (with the exception of the Calyptratae), and to me it doesn't make sense to give them formal names in the hierarchy. Another advantage of having five subdivisions immediately under the order is that they all show on a single Browse page.

Moves done
I've now made these changes; I hope everything is in the right place. My main concern was splitting up the tipuloids, so if I incorrectly moved some tipulids to Limoniidae or left limoniids in Tipulidae please let me know (or just move them).

 
I'll check...
...whenever I get the time. You will have to do the moving yourself because I am no editor (I would hardly have the time with my own website and my involvement with the CMS where it is in).

Paul

http://www.diptera.info

Sigh of relieve...
At last, I can finally make some comments without having to comment my comments about the differences between Nearctic and Palearctic classification... Please, also treat the Empididae likewise?

Paul

http://www.diptera.info

 
Empididae
Is this the split into Empididae, Atelestidae, Hybotidae, and Microphoridae? That would be fine with me. The authors of the page I linked to didn't split them, but I think dividing up such a diverse (and paraphyletic) family is a good thing.

 
Yes
That is exactly the split I meant. If you cannot figure out what belongs where, just drop me a list of taxa involved and I will bring you up to speed. ;-)

Paul

http://www.diptera.info

Sounds good
I tried renaming Otitidae just now and it worked; from the Info tab, choose Edit.

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