My research aims to investigate and document the biological diversity of German scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae), probing the dark diversity of this family and challenging the poor knowledge of its extreme species diversity, with a specific focus on the genus Megaselia Rondani. I use integrative taxonomy (combining morphological and molecular methods) to identify/describe species and investigate the phylogenetic position of taxonomically difficult genera and species.
Phoridae are a large family of Diptera with about 4300 species known worldwide. This hyperdiverse family counts parasitoids, parasites, scavengers, predators, fungivores and herbivores among its members. Some species are agricultural pests, while others are useful as biological control agents of pests. Phorids are also an important group of pollinators. Megaselia, with more than 1700 described species, which probably represent only a small fraction of its true diversity, is one of the most biologically diverse genera in the animal kingdom.