The internal female genitalia of Aulacigaster (Diptera: Aulacigastridae)—description and phylogenetic analysis

  • Marion KotrbaEmail author
  • Alessandra Rung
Original Article


The internal female genitalia of 22 species of Aulacigaster are studied, covering all species groups as defined by Rung and Mathis (Smithson. Contrib. Zool., 633, 1–132, 2011). The method of embedding freshly dissected material in polyvinyl lactophenol with an admixture of chlorazol black E is far superior to results achieved by maceration in potassium hydroxide and allows the detection of delicate structures previously unnoticed. A general description of the internal female genitalia introduces all relevant structures and their variation within the genus. Establishing the presence and the multi-chambered condition of the ventral receptacle in Aulacigastridae constitutes a major result. Another important finding pertains to the presence of a ventral sclerotized ring in the posteroventral wall of the vagina, which had not been described in Aulacigastridae before. The variable characters are coded across the studied species and are subjected to a phylogenetic analysis in combination with the character set of Rung and Mathis (Smithson. Contrib. Zool., 633, 1–132, 2011). The resulting topology is used to reconstruct ancestral character states and to discuss intrafamilial character state changes at and above the species group level. Information extracted from the internal female genitalia corroborates and adds resolution to the results of previous analyses that employed characters of the external morphology and the male terminalia. Brief per species descriptions and additional illustrations are placed in the electronic supplementary material.


Schizophora Morphology Reproduction Ventral receptacle Spermathecae 



We thank Wayne Mathis (US National Museum of Natural History) for his collegial supervision and cooperation during many years of dipterological studies relevant to this work. Allen Norrbom (US National Museum of Natural History) kindly provided pinned material from species that could not be collected.

Funding information

The earliest stages of this work were supported by a stipend of the German Scientific Foundation to MK (DFG, Ko 1369/1–2). Much of the material was collected on a field trip to the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (Ecuador) funded by a grant from the Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy Program, National Science Foundation (PEET 952–1773).

Supplementary material

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Figure 1_ESM

Dissections of Aulacigaster species for which fresh material was available. a A. vespertina. b A. erica. c A. rufifemur. d A. trifasciata. e A. leucopeza. ag accessory gland, ce cercus, co common oviduct, lo lateral oviduct, oo oocyte in ovary, sp spermatheca, sr sclerotized ring, va vagina, vr ventral receptacle. All figures to same scale. Bar: 250 μm (PNG 7927 kb)

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Figure 2_ESM

Ventral sclerotized ring of the studied Aulacigaster species. a A. bromeliae. b A. korneyevi. c A. tibanae. d A. vespertina. e A. melanoleuca. f A. stenoptera. g A. bella. h A. sp. i A. femorata. k A. peruana. l A. grimaldii. m A. gaimarii. n A. minuta. o A. albifacies. p A. belize. q A. erica. r A. rufifemur. s A. trifasciata. t A. mcalpinei. u A. neoleucopeza. v A. leucopeza. All figures to same scale. Bar: 100 μm (PNG 137 kb)

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Figure 3_ESM

Vagina of the studied Aulacigaster species where additional sclerotized structures of the vagina wall occur. a A. bromeliae. b A. korneyevi. c A. tibanae. d A. vespertina. e A. melanoleuca. f A. formosa. g A. peruana. h A. albifacies. i A. belize. k A. erica. l A. rufifemur. m A. trifasciata. bspd sclerotized base of spermathecal duct, me membranous basal extension of spermathecal duct, pscl pair of small sclerites, scl sclerotization of vagina wall, sr sclerotized ring, vr ventral receptacle. All figures to same scale. Bar: 100 μm (PNG 8496 kb)

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Figure 4_ESM

Spermathecae of the studied Aulacigaster species. a A. bromeliae. b A. korneyevi. c A. tibanae. d A. vespertina. e A. melanoleuca. f A. stenoptera. g A. bella. h A. sp. i A. femorata. k A. formosa. l A. peruana. m A. grimaldii. n A. gaimarii. o A. minuta. p A. albifacies. q A. belize. r A. erica. s A. rufifemur. t A. trifasciata. u A. mcalpinei. v A. neoleucopeza. w A. leucopeza. All figures to same scale. Bar: 100 μm (PNG 6758 kb)

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Figure 5_ESM

Ventral receptacle of the studied Aulacigaster species. a A. bromeliae. b A. vespertina. c A. melanoleuca. d A. stenoptera. e A. bella. f A. sp. g A. femorata. h A. formosa. i A. peruana. k A. grimaldii. l A. gaimarii. m A. minuta. n A. albifacies. o A. belize. All figures to same scale. Bar: 100 μm (PNG 8973 kb)

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Figure 6_ESM

Ventral receptacle of the studied Aulacigaster species. a A. erica. b A. rufifemur. c A. trifasciata. d A. mcalpinei. e A. neoleucopeza. f A. leucopeza. All figures to same scale, same as in Fig. 5_ESM. Bar: 100 μm (PNG 5526 kb)

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13127_2019_425_MOESM7_ESM.docx (48 kb)
Per species descriptions_ESM per species descriptions of all studied Aulacigaster species with additional photos, individual measurements, and details not entered in the general description and phylogenetic analysis. (DOCX 47.6 kb)


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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SNSB - Zoologische Staatssammlung MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Plant Pest Diagnostics BranchCalifornia Department of Food & AgricultureSacramentoUSA

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