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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Drosophilidae
Subfamily: Drosophilinae
Genus: Drosophila
Subgenus: Sophophora
Sturtevant, 1939
Type species
Drosophila melanogaster
Meigen, 1830
species groups

The paraphyletic subgenus Sophophora of the genus Drosophila was first described by Alfred Sturtevant in 1939.[1] It contains the best-known drosophilid species, Drosophila melanogaster. Sophophora translates as carrier (phora) of wisdom (sophos). The subgenus is paraphyletic because the genus Lordiphosa[2][3] and the species Hirtodrosophila duncani[4][5] are also placed within this subgenus.


Old World

 melanogaster species  group

 montium species group

 ananassae species group

 fima species group

 obscura species group

New World

 willistoni species group

 saltans species group


 Hirtodrosophila duncani

Currently, 10 species groups are recognized, in two main groups, the New World and the Old World[5][6][7]

Old World:

New World:



  1. ^ Sturtevant, A. H. (1939). On the subdivision of the genus Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 25, 137–141.
  2. ^ Katoh, T., Tamura, K. & Aotsuka, T. (2000). Phylogenetic position of the subgenus Lordiphosa of the genus Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae) inferred from alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) gene sequences. Journal of Molecular Evolution 51, 122–130.
  3. ^ Hu, Y.-G. & Toda, M. J. (2001). Polyphyly of Lordiphosa and its relationships in Drosophilinae (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Systematic Entomology 26, 15–31.
  4. ^ O'Grady, P. & DeSalle, R. (2008). Out of Hawaii: the origin and biogeography of the genus Scaptomyza (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Biology Letters 4, 195-199.
  5. ^ a b van der Linde, K., Houle, D., Spicer, G. S. & Steppan, S. J. (2010). A supermatrix-based molecular phylogeny of the family Drosophilidae. Genetics Research 92, 25-38.
  6. ^ Bächli, G. (1999-2010). TaxoDros: The Database on Taxonomy of Drosophilidae. Available at
  7. ^ Da Lage, J.-L., Kergoat, G. J., Maczkowiak, F., Silvain, J.-F., Cariou, M.-L. & Lachaise, D. (2007). A phylogeny of Drosophilidae using the Amyrel gene: questioning the Drosophila melanogaster species group boundaries. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 45, 47–63.