The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

  • DE
  • EN
  • LS

World Syrphidae Phylogeny



Quick facts

Project title: 
World Syrphidae Phylogeny
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 
Flies, Syrphidae


The World Syrphidae Phylogeny (WSP) project is a community effort with the goal to provide the most robust molecular backbone to understand the evolution of the family Syrphidae (Diptera) and the relationships of its taxa. The WSP project includes four levels of analysis:

1. Obtain 5' COI data ('DNA barcodes') for as many of the world's syrphid species as possible. To date, we have obtained COI barcode data for 1,551 species (25.9% of the World's 6,000 flower fly species) and 198 genera/subgenera (58.6% of the World's 338 genera). To open a google drive summary table of genera sequenced click here.

2. Obtain data for six core genes for as many of the world's species as possible (for everything that we can obtain fresh specimens in 95-100% alcohol). We have chosen the following genes for this part of the project: mitochondrial COI (entire gene) and nuclear 28S (D1/2 region), 18S, CAD (regions 1, 4 and 5), AATS and Period. To date, we have obtained multi-gene data for 513 species (8.6% of the World's flower fly species) and 144 genera (42.6% of the World's syrphid genera). To see a google drive overview document summarizing which genes have been completed along with the actual species list, click here.

3. Obtain anchored phylogenetic data for as many generic-level groups of syrphids as possible. Preliminary results show that we can obtain data for over 200 genes per taxon and produce phylogenetic hypotheses with extremely high levels of support. To date, we have obtained a small preliminary anchored phylogeny dataset for 28 genera of syrphids.

4. Obtain transcriptome data for as many putative tribes of syrphids as possible. Transcriptome data should theoretically produce the highest level of support possible short of complete genome sequencing. Hypotheses produced using these data should provide us with a robust and lasting phylogeny on which to base the higher classification for the family. To date, we have obtained transcriptomes for 10 genera of syrphids within the 1KITE project.

For more detailed information, please visit the project website.


Contact person

Head of the Section Diptera
+49 228 9122-292
+49 228 9122-212
x.mengual [at]