Timeline of Dipteran evolution

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Apr 11 21:41:59 CDT 2004

Dear All,
     I haven't placed extinct families in my classification of Diptera yet, but from what I can tell so far, the Nematocera-Orthorrhapa-Cyclorrhapa tripartite division parallels their apparent fossil record quite well:

     Nematocera (primitive flies) probably originated in the Permian and radiated during the Triassic.
     Orthorrhapa evolved from Nematocera in the Triassic and radiated during the Jurassic.
     Cyclorrhapa evolved from Orthorrhapa (empidoids) in the Jurassic and radiated during the Cretaceous.

     As far as I can tell, the fossil record is not complete enough to be much more precise than this, but it sure beats what we know about a lot of other arthropod taxa (ticks for instance).
              ------- Cheers,
                           Ken Kinman
P.S.  Should Family Permotanyderidae (U. Permian) be included in Diptera as a basal member of Nematocera?  Or would it be preferable to leave it in Order Mecoptera (with a {{Diptera}} marker as its sister group)?  In other words, better to regard Permotanyderids as the first flies, or sister group to the first flies?  I think either of these would be preferable to putting it into a separate Order Protodiptera as I have seen done.

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