Phylogenetic Relationships - past studies

The table below summarises past studies that addressed the classification or phylogeny of Asilidae or a subgroup thereof.

A discussion of previous phylogenetic hypotheses is not as straightforward as one might expect. It is important to investigate if the past study is based on the same phylogenetic methodology that we use today. A Hennigian analysis by hand without a computer algorithm is truly phylogenetic and can be compared to present studies, but hypotheses based on overall similarity cannot be compared to new phylogenetic hypotheses. The analysis method is indicated in the table below based on my interpretation.

Table summarising previous classificatory or phylogenetic studies of Asilidae.
Publication Analysis method Taxa included Remarks
Macquart 1838 similarity Asilidae
Schiner 1862 similarity Asilidae
McAtee 1919 similarity Nearctic Laphria
Hermann 1920 similarity Asilidae
Hardy 1927a similarity Asiloidea Asilidae is paraphyletic
Hardy 1927b similarity & diagnostic key Asilidae
Hardy 1934 similarity Australian Asilidae
Karl 1959 phylogenetic Asilidae male terminalia
Hull 1962 non matrix-based similarity Asilidae
Lehr 1969 non matrix-based similarity Asilidae
Artigas 1971 phenetic Chilean Asilidae
Papavero 1973a non matrix-based similarity Asilidae except Leptogastrinae
Papavero 1973b non matrix-based similarity Dasypogoninae
Papavero & Bernardi 1973 non matrix-based similarity Blepharepium
Lamas 1973 non matrix-based similarity Cylicomera and Prolepsis
Oldroyd 1974 non matrix-based similarity Asilidae
Papavero 1975 non matrix-based similarity Megapodini
Adisoemarto & Wood 1975 phylogenetic Dioctriini + Echthodopini
Artigas & Reyes 1977 phenetic Mallophora
Artigas & Angulo 1980 phenetic Mallophora
Fisher 1986 phylogenetic Andrenosomatini and Dasyllis unpublished
Scarbrough 1990 phylogenetic Ommatius (pumilus group)
Lehr 1991 non matrix-based similarity Palaearctic Laphriinae
Mazzarolo 1994 phylogenetic Leptogastrinae unpublished
Lehr 1996 non matrix-based similarity Asilidae
Mazzarolo 1999 phylogenetic Laphriinae unpublished
Cannings 2002 phylogenetic Stichopogoninae
Bybee et al. 2004 phylogenetic Asilidae molecular
Artigas et al. 2005 phylogenetic Tillobroma
Artigas & Parra 2006 phylogenetic Alyssomyia
Dikow 2009a phylogenetic Asilidae morphology
Dikow 2009b phylogenetic Asilidae molecules + morphology

Note: non matrix-based similarity refers to studies that employ similarity evaluation without a character analysis in the Hennigian sense; phenetic stands for similarity evaluation with a character matrix and an algorithm to calculate distances.


  • Adisoemarto, S. & Wood, D.M. 1975. The Nearctic species of Dioctria and six related genera (Diptera, Asilidae). Quaestiones Entomologicae 11: 505–576.
  • Artigas, J.N. 1971. Las structuras quitinizadas de la spermatheca y funda del pene de los Asilidos y su valor sistematico a traves del estudio por taxonomica numerica. Gayana Zoologia 18: 106 pp. (in Spanish)
  • Artigas, J.N. & Reyes, E. 1977. Estudio por taxonomica numerica de las spermathecae en el genero Mallophora y sus relaciones filogeneticas. Boletin da Sociedad Biologia de Concepción 51: 51–58. (in Spanish)
  • Artigas, J.N. & Angulo, A.O. 1980. Revision del genero Mallophora Macquart por sistematica alfa y taxonomia numerica (Diptera - Asilidae). Gayana Zoologia 43: 182 pp. (in Spanish)
  • Artigas, J.N., Lewis, P., & Parra, L.E. 2005. Review and phylogeny of the genus Tillobroma Hull with the description of ten new species and its relation with the genus Hypenetes Loew (Diptera, Asilidae, Stenopogoninae). Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 78: 519–588.
  • Artigas, J.N. & Parra, L.E. 2006. Phylogeny of the genus Alyssomyia Hull, with descriptions of two new species (Diptera, Asilidae, Stenopogoninae, Enigmomorphini). Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 41(2): 97–116.
  • Bybee, S.M., Taylor, S.D., Nelson, C.R. & Whiting, M.F. 2004. A phylogeny of robber flies at the subfamilial level: molecular evidence. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 30: 789–797.
  • Cannings, R.A. 2002. The systematics of Lasiopogon (Diptera: Asilidae). Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria. 354 pp.
  • Dikow, T. 2009a. Phylogeny of Asilidae inferred from morphological characters of imagines (Insecta: Diptera: Brachycera: Asiloidea). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 319: 1–174.
  • Dikow, T. 2009b. A phylogenetic hypothesis for Asilidae based on a total evidence analysis of morphological and DNA sequence data (Insecta: Diptera: Brachycera: Asiloidea). Organisms, Diversity & Evolution 9(3): 165–188.
  • Fisher, E.M. 1986. A reclassification of the robber fly tribe Andrenosomi, with a revision of the genus Dasyllis (Diptera: Asilidae). Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Riverside, California, USA.
  • Hardy, G.H. 1927a. On the phylogeny of some Diptera Brachycera. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 52(3): 380–386.
  • Hardy, G.H. 1927b. Further notes on a new classification of Australian robberflies (Diptera-Asilidae). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 52(3): 387–398.
  • Hardy, G.H. 1934. The Asilidae of Australia. Part I. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (10)13: 498–525.
  • Hermann, F. 1920. Beitrag zur allgemeinen Systematik der Asiliden. Zoologische Jahrbücher 43: 161–194. (in German)
  • Hull, F.M. 1962. Robber flies of the world: the genera of the family Asilidae. Parts 1-2. United States National Museum Bulletin 224: 907 pp.
  • Karl, E. 1959. Vergleichend-morphologische Untersuchungen der männlichen Kopulationsorgane bei Asiliden. Beiträge zur Entomologie 9(5–6): 619–680. (in German)
  • Lamas, G. 1973. Taxonomy and evolution of the Prolepsis-complex in the Americas (Diptera, Asilidae). Arquivos de Zoologia 24(1): 1–71.
  • Lehr, P.A. 1969. Ecologo-morphological analysis of robber flies (Diptera, Asilidae), II. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 48: 532–560 (in Russian, English translation in Entomological Review 48: 341–357)
  • Lehr, P.A. 1991. Revision of robberlies of the genus Choerades Walker, 1851, and notes on the structure of the family Laphriinae (Diptera, Asilidae). Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 70(3): 694–715 (in Russian, English translation in Entomological Review 71(4): 70–93 1992).
  • Lehr, P.A. 1996. Robber Flies of subfamily Asilinae (Diptera, Asilidae) of Palaearctic. Ecological and morphological analysis, taxonomy and evolution. Russian Academy of Sciences Far Eastern Branch: 183 pp. (in Russian)
  • Macquart, J. 1838. Dipteres exotiques nouveaux ou peu connus. Tome premier. 2e partie: 207 pp. (in French)
  • McAtee, W.L. 1919. Key to the Nearctic species of the genus Laphria (Diptera, Asilidae). The Ohio Journal of Science 19(2): 143–169.
  • Mazzarolo, L.A. 1994. Morfologia externa, Analise Filogenetica e Biogeografia de Leptogastrinae (Diptera: Asilidae). Unpublished Master thesis, Universidade Federal de Paraiba, Joao Pessoa, Brazil. 78 pp. (in Portuguese)
  • Mazzarolo, L.A. 1999. Morfologia externa e Analise Filogenetica de Laphriinae (Diptera: Asilidae). Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Universidade Sao Paulo, Ribeirao Preto, Brazil. 120 pp. (in Portuguese)
  • Oldroyd, H. 1974. Some comments on the tribal classification of Asilidae. Israel Journal of Entomology 9: 5–21.
  • Papavero, N. 1973a. Studies of Asilidae (Diptera) systematics and evolution. I. A preliminary classification in subfamilies. Arquivos de Zoologia 23(3): 217–274.
  • Papavero, N. 1973b. Studies of Asilidae (Diptera) systematics and evolution. II. The tribes of Dasypogoninae. Arquivos de Zoologia 23(4): 275–294.
  • Papavero, N. 1975. Studies of Asilidae (Diptera) systematics and evolution. IV. Tribe Megapodini Carrera (Dasypogoninae); with a review of the Neotropical species. Arquivos de Zoologia 26: 191–318.
  • Papavero, N. & Bernardi, N. 1973. Studies of Asilidae (Diptera) systematics and evolution. III. Tribe Blepharepiini (Dasypogoninae). Arquivos de Zoologia 24: 163–209.
  • Scarbrough, A.G. 1990. Revision of the New World Ommatius Wiedemann (Diptera: Asilidae). I. the pumilus species group. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 116(1): 65–102.
  • Schiner, I.R. 1862. Asilidae IX Familie. Fauna Austriaca. Part I. liii–lv, 117–158. (in German)