This paper is a detailed examination of the development of feather pigmentation. Very interesting stuff. The only problem is that lots of information is stuffed into a tiny Science paper. I will they published it in a long-format journal…
Beatriz Vicoso and Doris Bachtrog have a very interesting paper showing that the Drosophila 4th (dot) chromosome is homologous to the sex chromosome of more basally branching Diptera. It seems that, early in Drosophilid evolution, Muller-A took over the role of the sex chromosome from Muller-F. They also have an interesting discussion of how such takeovers could occur.
Articulated abdominal appendages in Sepsidae are one of the most dramatic evolutionary innovations that have occurred relatively recently (in a single dipteran family). Check out the latest paper on this system.
Take a look:
We often talk about how difficult it is to estimate divergence times without an extensive fossil record, and how we essentially don’t a clue when different fly lineages diverged. Here is a recent paper in MBE that tackles this problem using new data and in a lot more detail than any previous studies.