Psychodopygus as a genus: reasons for a flexible classification of the phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae)
Ready, P. D
Fraiha Neto, Habib
Shaw, Jeffrey Jon
The ranking of Psychodopygus as a genus rather than a subgenus is substantiated by a comparative analysis of the principal characters distinguishing the world's sand fly genera. Reviews of previous classifications and the characters employed in them show that the wide divergence of opinion among sand fly taxonomists has not been reconciled by a recently proposed "stable" classification that, for New World species, is considered unacceptable for the following reasons. Accepting the use of one "central," or principal, character for differentiating genera will inhibit the search for critical combinations of taxonomic characters that reflect the evolutionary paths taken by neotropical sand flies; and, the curtailment of systematic studies can only weaken the impetus to compare and relate different sand fly species, thereby hindering the discovery of new information of possible zoological and medical importance.