The current subgenus Drosophila (the traditional immigrans-tripunctata radiation) includes major elements of temperate drosophilid faunas in the northern hemisphere. Despite previous molecular phylogenetic analyses, the phylogeny of the subgenus Drosophila has not fully been resolved: the resulting trees have more or less varied in topology. One possible factor for such ambiguous results is taxon-sampling that has been biased towards New World species in previous studies. In this study, taxon sampling was balanced between Old and New World species, and phylogenetic relationships among 45 ingroup species selected from ten core species groups of the subgenus Drosophila were analyzed using nucleotide sequences of three nuclear and two mitochondrial genes. Based on the resulting phylogenetic tree, ancestral distributions and divergence times were estimated for each clade to test Throckmorton's hypothesis that there was a primary, early-Oligocene disjunction of tropical faunas and a subsequent mid-Miocene disjunction of temperate faunas between the Old and the New Worlds that occurred in parallel in separate lineages of the Drosophilidae. Our results substantially support Throckmorton's hypothesis of ancestral migrations via the Bering Land Bridge mainly from the Old to the New World, and subsequent vicariant divergence of descendants between the two Worlds occurred in parallel among different lineages of the subgenus Drosophila. However, our results also indicate that these events took place multiple times over a wider time range than Throckmorton proposed, from the late Oligocene to the Pliocene.
Izumitani, H. F., Kusaka, Y., Koshikawa, S., Toda, M. J., & Katoh, T. (2016). Phylogeography of the subgenus drosophila (diptera: Drosophilidae): Evolutionary history of faunal divergence between the old and the new worlds. PLoS ONE, 11(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160051