The D. serido superspecies is a complex mosaic of populations distributed over a vast part of South America and showing various degrees of genetical divergence. We have analyzed its chromosomal constitution in 16 new localities of southeastern and southern Brazil. Both the metaphase and salivary gland chromosomes show a sharp split of these populations in two groups. Four populations, fixed for inversion 2e8 and showing the type I karyotype, represent the southwestern limit of D. serido type B, which inhabits the Cerrado in central-western Brazil. The remaining populations are homozygous for 2x7, an inversion also fixed in the Caatinga populations of northeastern Brazil. However, their karyotype, in those populations analyzed, belong to a different type (V) from that of the Caatinga populations. Populations in this second group are polymorphic for five inversions on chromosome 2 plus another on chromosome 5 and show considerable interpopulation differentiation. The breakpoints of chromosome 2 inversions are described and the inversion loops of several heterokaryotypes are presented. Biogeographical information suggests that there are clear ecological differences between the two groups of populations as well as among the populations within the second group. The possible role of host plants in promoting the genetic divergence among the D. serido populations is discussed.
- Cactophilic Drosophila
- Host plant specificity