Taxonomic and evolutionary analysis of Zaprionus indianus and its colonization of Palearctic and Neotropical regions
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Zaprionus indianus is a dipteran (Drosophilidae) with a wide distribution throughout the tropics and temperate Palearctic and Nearctic regions. There have been proposals to reclassify the genus Zaprionus as a subgenus or group of the genus Drosophila because various molecular markers have indicated a close relationship between Zaprionus species and the immigrans-Hirtodrosophila radiation within Drosophila. These markers, together with alloenzymes and quantitative traits, have been used to describe the probable scenario for the expansion of Zaprionus indianus from its center of dispersal (Africa) to regions of Asia (ancient dispersal) and the Americas (recent dispersal). The introduction of Z. indianus into Brazil was first reported in 1999 and the current consensus is that the introduced flies came from high-latitude African populations through the importation of fruit. Once in Brazil, Z. indianus spread rapidly throughout the Southeast and then to the rest of the country, in association with highway-based fruit commerce. These and other aspects of the evolutionary biology of Z. indianus are addressed in this review, including a description of a probable route for this species' dispersal during its recent expansion.