Tachinid flies are natural enemies of many lepidopteran and coleopteran pests of forests, crops, and fruit trees. In order to address the lack of genetic data in this economically important group, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the Palaearctic tachinid fly Elodia flavipalpis Aldrich, 1933. Usually found in Northern China and Japan, this species is one of the primary natural enemies of the leaf-roller moths (Tortricidae), which are major pests of various fruit trees. The 14,932-bp mitochondrial genome was typical of Diptera, with 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, and 2 rRNA genes. However, its control region is only 105 bp in length, which is the shortest found so far in flies. In order to estimate dipteran evolutionary relationships, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis of 58 mitochondrial genomes from 23 families. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods supported the monophyly of both Tachinidae and superfamily Oestroidea. Within the subsection Calyptratae, Muscidae was inferred as the sister group to Oestroidea. Within Oestroidea, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae formed a sister clade to Oestridae and Tachinidae. Using a Bayesian relaxed clock calibrated with fossil data, we estimated that Tachinidae originated in the middle Eocene.
Zhao, Z., Su, T. juan, Chesters, D., Wang, S. di, Ho, S. Y. W., Zhu, C. dong, … Zhang, C. tian. (2013). The Mitochondrial Genome of Elodia flavipalpis Aldrich (Diptera: Tachinidae) and the Evolutionary Timescale of Tachinid Flies. PLoS ONE, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0061814