Ruben (Isai) Madriz will be presenting his Ph.D. defense as part of the Department of Entomology's spring semester seminar series.
Abstract: Tanyderidae, commonly called primitive crane flies, are among the oldest lineages of true flies. Considered one of the rarest Diptera families, tanyderids are exceptionally difficult to find. Their cryptic nature and specialized habitats pose an inherent challenge to study this remarkable family. Highly detailed visual methods were used to interpret the morphology of this family in order to make accurate identifications and homology statements. These methods included complex light- and scanning electron micrographs, detailed illustrations and digital interactive 3D models. Results were compared with data on closely related groups for potential use in revisionary systematics research and homology assessment. This is the first attempt to examine Tanyderidae comprehensively, establish a standardized terminology for all life stages, and reconstruct the phylogeny of the entire family. Multiple facets of this work are presented to uncover the mysteries of this Jurassic relic.