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Keywords:

  • diapause;
  • molecular phylogeny;
  • temperature tolerance

The phylogenetic relationship of Eurasian species of the Drosophila obscura species group remains ambiguous in spite of intensive analyses based on morphology, allozymes and DNA sequences. The present analysis based on sequence data for cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and a-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (Gpdh) suggests that the phylogenetic position of D. alpina is also ambiguous. These ambiguities have been considered to be attributable to rapid phyletic radiation in this group at an early stage of its evolution. Overwintering strategies are diversified among these species: D. alpina and D. subsihestris pass the winter in pupal diapause, D. bifasciata and D. obscura in reproductive diapause, and D. subobscura and D. guanche without entering diapause. This diversity may also suggest rapid radiation at an early phase of adaptations to temperate climates. On the other hand, adult tolerance of cold was closely related to overwintering strategy and distribution: D. obscura and D. bifasciata with reproductive diapause were very tolerant; D. alpina and D. subsilvestris which pass the winter in pupal diapause were less tolerant; D. subobscura having no diapause was moderately tolerant and D. guanche occurring in the Canary Islands was rather susceptible. Tolerance of high temperature at the preimaginal stages seemed to be also associated with overwintering strategy; i.e. lower in the species with pupal diapause than in those with reproductive diapause or without diapause mechanism.