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Thorough biotic inventories are still needed even in families with paradigm organisms like Drosophilidae, including well-studied areas such as North America. This work presents a taxonomic revision of the species of the genus Amiota Loew in North America and the Nearctic portion of Mexico. Amiota steganoptera Malloch is currently excluded from the Nearctic and Amiota setigera Malloch is synonymized under Amiota humeralis Loew. Specimens of Amiota subtusradiata Duda were not encountered during this study along with its synonym Amiota quadrata Takada and Toda; however, based on previous descriptions we include A. subtusradiata in the Nearctic fauna. All other previously described species from the Nearctic are redescribed. Thirty-six species are described as new: Amiota amputata, A. antitormentum, A. avipes, A. biacuminis, A. brayi, A. byersi, A. cervites, A. cruciatum, A. didens, A. durangoensis, A. elsaltoensis, A. floridiensis, A. forceps, A. fulvitibia, A. hyalou, A. imperator, A. incurva, A. laevifurca, A. latilabrum, A. mcalpinei, A. multiplex, A. nanonigrescens, A. occidentalis, A. onyx, A. oviraptor, A. pseudominor, A. raripennis, A. sinaloensis, A. subnebojsa, A. tessae, A. texas, A. tibialis, A. tormentum, A. uniacuminis, A. wheeleri, and A. zaliskoi. This increases the total species known in the Nearctic from 13 to 49. All species in the Nearctic are illustrated, adult diagnostic features are discussed, and distributions are provided.
A cladogram based on parsimony analysis of 46 morphological characters established species groups in the genus. Most of the Nearctic species were accommodated into 10 species groups. Three species groups were previously erected for species in China and Europe. Seven species groups are newly established: the avipes, cervites, hsui, mariae, nebojsa, nigrescens, and subtusradiata groups.
Diversity in Amiota appears to be partially dependent on elevation and latitude in the Nearctic, with high diversity found in southern Ontario, the Appalachians, the Ozarks, mountain forests of Arizona and New Mexico, and the Sierra Madre of central Mexico. The taxonomic history of the Nearctic species is reviewed, and various aspects of their biology is presented. Males of species in the A. mariae species group are polymorphic for mirror-image, asymmetric genitalia, called chiral variants. Besides morphology, larval saproxyly, adult lachryphagy, and biogeography are reviewed. Challenges to the study of Amiota and future prospects are discussed.
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