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Arthropoda: Insecta

SIMULIIDAE

KEY TO GENERA

(Black flies)

(Contact)

 

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[See: Simuliidae Details]

 

According to Service (2008) there are about 2,000 species in 20 genera of the cosmopolitan Simuliidae. There are also more than six subfamilies in the family, However, only the four genera, Simulium, Prosimulium, Austrosimulium and Cnephia are of substantial medical importance by their habitual habits of attacking humans. Nevertheless, there continues to be disagreement among specialists on the number of genera. Wing venation (Fig. 1) and hind leg and genitalia structure (Fig. 2) are important for identification. Dr. John Anderson, University of California, in 2016 continues to specialize in Simuliidae identification

 

The genus Simulium continues to be the most important genus by virtue of having many species that are vectors of disease such as onchocerciasis especially in tropical regions. (Also see Simuliidae Details).

 

The following key, using a system devised by Smart (1946) separates six important genera:

 

 

1. Radial Vein #1 joins the costa near the middle of the front wing margin. Radial Sector (R-"s") is forked (occurs in California)

_ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Parasimulium sp.

Radial Vein #1 joins the costa beyond the middle of the front wing (Fig. 1) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2

 

2. Radial Sector (R-"s") is forked. There is no Pedisulcus nor Calcipala on the hind leg (Fig. 2) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Prosimulium spp.

 

Radial Sector (R-"s") is not forked (Fig. 1). A Pedisulcus and Calcipala may be either present or absent (Fig. 2) _ _ _ _ _ _ 3

 

3. Cubical Vein #2 and Anal Vein are both straight; A Pedisulcus on the hind leg is absent (occurs in Neotropics) (Fig. 2) _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Gigantodax spp.

 

Cubical Vein #2 and Anal Vein are sinuous (Fig. 1) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 4

 

4. The Antennae have no more than 10 segments (Fig. 1) (occur in Australasia and South America)_ _ _ Austrosimulium spp.

 

Antennae have 11 segments but rarely 10 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 5

 

5. The Pedisulcus is either absent or not distinct (Fig. 2). The Calcipala is very small or absent (Fig. 2). The basal part of the

Radius does not have any small hairs (macrotrochia) above. The distal section of the Radial Sector has a single row of

macrotrichia above (cosmopolitan species) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Cnephia spp.

 

Both a Pedisulcus and Calcipala are present (Fig. 2). The basal section of the Radius and distal section of the Radial Sector may

be with or without macrotrichia (cosmopolitan species) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Simulium spp.

 

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NOTE: The identification of Simuliide species relies heavily on male and female genitalia, which requires reference to individual

specialists.

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

Key References: <medvet.ref.htm> <Hexapoda>

 

Adler, P. H., D. C. Currie & D. M. Wood. 2004. The Black Flies (Simuliidae) of North America. Comstock Publ. NY & London.

Blacklock, D. B. 1926. The development of Onchocerca volvulus in Simulium damnosum. Ann. Trop. Med. Parasit. 20: 1-48, 203-18.

Daley, Beth. 2008. Black flies surge in Maine's clean rivers. Boston Globe

Boatin, B. A. & F. O. Richards. 2006. Control of onchocerciasis. Adv. in Parasitol. 61: 349-54.

Borradaile, L. A. & F. A. Potts. 1958. The Invertebrata: A Manual For The Use Of Students. Cambridge Univ. Press, Bentley Hs, London. 795 p.

Crosskey, R. W. 1990. The Natural History of Blackflies. Wiley Publ., Chichester, England.

De Villiers, P. C. 1987. Simulium dermatitis in man: clinical and biological features in South Africa. So. Afr. Med. J. 71: 523-25.

Hough, Andrew. 2010. Blandford fly: surge in infected insect bites blamed on new superfly. The Daily Telegraph. London. 

Matheson, R. 1950. Medical Entomology. Comstock Publ. Co, Inc. 610 p.

Molyneux, D. H. 2005. Onchocerciasis control and elimination: coming of age in resource-constrained health systems. Trends in Parasitol

21: 525-29.

Service, M. W. 1977. Methods for sampling adult Simuliidae, with special reference to the Simulium damnosum complex. Trop. Pest Bull. 5:

1-48.

Service, M. 2008. Medical Entomology For Students. Cambridge Univ. Press. 289 p (See pp. 81-92).

Smart, J. 1945. The classification of the Simuliidae (Diptera). Trans. Roy Ent. Sos., London 95: 463-532.

Legner, E. F. 1995. Biological control of Diptera of medical and veterinary importance. J. Vector Ecology 20(1): 59-120.

Legner, E. F. 2000. Biological control of aquatic Diptera. p. 847-870. Contributions to a Manual of Palaearctic Diptera,

Vol. 1, Science Herald, Budapest. 978 p.

Thompson, F. C. 2001. The Name of the Type Species of Simulium (Diptera: Simuliidae): Ent. News 112(2): 125.