Members of the fly family Tephritidae have been the subjects of extensive biological investigation. The more than 4000 species of tephritids alone represent a significant evolutionary and economic fauna. Tephritid research has contributed to our general understanding of basic biological problems as well as pest control. Despite the importance of the family, the higher classification of the Tephritidae is in an unsatisfactory state (Freidberg 1984; Hancock 1986; Foote et al. 1993; Norrbom et al. 1999; Korneyev, Chapter 4). Years of work by many dipterists using morphological characters have yielded poor resolution of higher relationships within the Tephritidae. Various subfamilies and tribes have been defined, but the limits of many of them are uncertain, the relationships among them are largely unresolved, and the status of many higher groups as monophyletic taxa needs to

be tested. This situation may be the combined outcome of the large size of the group, that previous systematic studies were largely regionally biased and focused on species description, and, especially, the fact that many morphological characters intergrade between higher taxa (Freidberg 1984).