Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup


Drosophila melanogangster species subgroup
Scientific classification
Species group:

The Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup contains 9 species of flies, including the best known species Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans. The subgroup belongs to the Drosophila melanogaster species group within the subgenus Sophophora.

Males can discriminate between females of different species, in part, by detecting differences in the hydrocarbon pheromones coating their bodies[1]. Females can discriminate between males of different species, in part, by detecting species-specific differences in the male's courtship behavior[2]. When copulation does occur between different species, the hybrid progeny are often non-viable, sterile or fertile with lower fitness.


 D. (S.) melanogaster

 D. (S.) simulans

 D. (S.) mauritiana

 D. (S.) sechellia

 D. (S.) yakuba

 D. (S.) santomea

 D. (S.) teissieri

 D. (S.) orena

 D. (S.) erecta

melanogaster complex

simulans complex

yakuba complex[3][4]

  • D. (S.) yakuba Burla, 1954
  • D. (S.) santonmea
  • D. (S.) teissieri Tsacas, 1971

erecta complex

  • D. (S.) erecta Tsacas and Lachaise, 1974
  • D. (S.) orena Tsacas and David, 1978

The species of the simulans complex form a hard polytomy. Most likely, the island species D. (S.) mauritiana (Mauritius) and D. (S.) sechellia (Seychelles) branched off from the mainland species D. (S.) simulans in such a narrow time frame that it is impossible to distinguish which species branched off first and which second.


  1. ^ Jallon, Jean-Marc; David, Jean R. (March 1987). "Variations in Cuticular Hydrocarbons Among the Eight Species of the Drosophila Melanogaster Subgroup". Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution. 41 (2): 294–302. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.1987.tb05798.x. ISSN 1558-5646. PMID 28568760.
  2. ^ Ewing, Arthur W.; Bennet-Clark, H. C. (1968). "The Courtship Songs of Drosophila". Behaviour. 31 (3/4): 288–301. doi:10.1163/156853968X00298. JSTOR 4533231.
  3. ^ ZHANG, LI; KANG, HAN; JIN, SHAN; ZENG, QING TAO; YANG, YONG (2016-05-16). "Hsp27 gene in Drosophila ananassae subgroup was split by a recently acquired intron". Journal of Genetics. 95 (2): 257–262. doi:10.1007/s12041-016-0629-y. ISSN 0022-1333.
  4. ^ Simão, M C; Haudry, A; Granzotto, A; Setta, N; Carareto, C M A (2018-08-25). "Helena and BS: two travellers between the genera Drosophila and Zaprionus". Genome Biology and Evolution. 10 (10): 2671–2685. doi:10.1093/gbe/evy184. ISSN 1759-6653. PMC 6179348. PMID 30165545.
  • J. A. Coyne, S. Elwyn, S. Y. Kim & A. Llopart 2004. Genetic studies of two sister species in the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup, D. yakuba and D. santomea. Genetical Research 84: 11-26.
  • R. M. Kliman, P. Andolfatto, J. A. Coyne, F. Depaulis, M. Kreitman, A. J. Berry, J. McCarter, J. Wakeley & J. Hey 2000. The population genetics of the origin and divergence of the Drosophila simulans complex species. Genetics 156: 1913-1931.