Drosophila (Sophophora) dominicana Ayala

Schiffer, Michele & Mcevey, Shane F., 2006, Drosophila bunnanda— a new species from northern Australia with notes on other Australian members of the montium subgroup (Diptera: Drosophilidae), Zootaxa 1333, pp. 1-23: 8

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.174253

publication LSID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Drosophila (Sophophora) dominicana Ayala


Drosophila (Sophophora) dominicana Ayala 

Drosophila dominicana Ayala 1965  , Pac. Insects 7, p. 620. Type locality: Madang, Papua New Guinea.

We dissected a D. dominicana  paratype ( AMNH, Reg. 21752) to determine its relationship to the species we describe as new in this paper. We found the novasternum to have a distinctive bicornute caudal margin. This notched form resembles the shape in species of the auraria  complex, unlike the smooth convexity of the novasternum of the remaining two D. serrata  complex species. Ayala’s drawing (1965 a, fig. 2) does not show this but it is clear in an unpublished drawing of D. dominicana  by I.R. Bock (dated 9 Feb 1987) that we have been able to view. We can confirm, however, that the secondary claspers are indeed noticeably circular in appearance as described and illustrated by Ayala (1965 a, b); this is also reminiscent of auraria  complex species. Drosophila dominicana  has distinct spines along the ventral cercal margin and has three spines of unequal size (two large, one small) arising from the secondary clasper. The latter may be a variable condition because it is evident in Ayala’s (1965 b) drawing and in our dissected specimen, but not in Bock’s unpublished sketch.

Three combinations of interspecific crosses involving D. dominicana  and either D. serrata  or D. birchii  resulted in hybrids ( Ayala 1965 a). Drosophila serrata Wau  female × D. dominicana  Madang male and D. dominicana  Madang female × D. birchii  Port Moresby male both produced offspring with some fertility, D. serrata Mataranka  female × D. dominicana  Madang male produced sterile offspring. It is possible, that the new montium  species, when intercrossed in certain combinations with these latter species, will produce partially fertile hybrids. This would not be unusual among species of the same complex within the melanogaster  species group ( Bock 1984 a).

The Y chromosome of the D. dominicana  metaphase karyotype has been compared to, and found to share similarities with, the Y chromosomes of D. jambulina  and D. nikananu (Baimai 1980)  . However, comparisons of the entire metaphase karyotypes revealed that D. dominicana  , D. serrata  , and D. birchii  were all “quite distinct” (Baimai 1980).

Drosophila dominicana  is known only from a culture derived from a sample collected at Madang, Papua New Guinea ( Ayala 1965 b); we can find no evidence that montium  subgroup flies have been sampled in that region since that time. However, many pinned drosophilid specimens from Papua New Guinea remain unsorted (specimens at the B.P. Bishop and Australian Museums). Reports of D. dominicana  from several locations in Sabah ( Mather 1968) cannot be confirmed by us because of the lack of voucher material.

Distribution ( Fig. 14View FIGURES 14 – 20). Madang, Papua New Guinea and possibly Sabah ( Ayala 1965 a; Ayala 1965; Baimai 1980; Mather 1968; also see Appendix).


American Museum of Natural History