In this review, we use the wing veins of dipteran insects as potential models for understanding the evolution of development. We briefly discuss previous work in this field and examine the genetic complexity of wing formation, discussing the genes involved in wing formation and their roles in wing development and vein formation. Furthermore, patterns of wing vein formation, addition, and reduction are discussed as they occur throughout the Diptera. Using the phyletic phenocopy paradigm, we draw attention to many wing vein morphologies that phenocopy various wing mutants in . The systematic issues of the nature of characters, homology, and the role of modern developmental approaches to evolutionary studies, which has recently become important, can be addressed from the perspective of the wing. We argue that further developmental evolutionary studies, and the interpretation of data therefrom, must be conducted within the context of a well-supported phylogeny of the organisms under study.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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