Review of the upside-down flies (Diptera: Neurochaetidae) of Madagascar and Africa, and evolution of neurochaetid host plant associations
The subgenera Neurocytta McAlpine and Neurotexis McAlpine are raised to genera. A revised key to genera of recent Neurochaetidae and a key to species of Neurotexis are given. The new species Neurotexis maura, N. despiciens, N. termon, N. kaplanae, N. delphis, N. charis, N. primula, N. vesca, N. freidbergi and N. polyaster, all from Madagascar, are described. Neurocytta prisca (McAlpine) and Neurotexis stuckenbergi (McAlpine) are new combinations (from Neurochaeta). Additional morphological details are given for Neurocytta prisca. Morphology of the neurochaetid antenna is reviewed. Head-downwards cursorial behaviour is recorded for almost all known Afrotropical species. Apparent host plants recorded for 11 of these are Strelitzia and Ravenala (Zingiberales: Strelitziaceae) and Pandanus (Pandanales: Pandanaceae). Host plant records are superimposed on a revised cladogram of neurochaetid species in an attempt to trace out evolutionary changes in fly-plant associations. An early zingiberalean plant possibly provided the plesiotypic host plant association for Neurochaetidae, and there is evidence that such a plant may have been available to the early Tertiary neurochaetid Anthoclusia.