The phylogeography of Simulium siamense complex was inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences. A 586-bp fragment of the cytochrome oxidase I was sequenced for 92 individuals from 13 populations throughout Thailand, representing five cytoforms (A, B, C, F and G). The cytoforms are not genetically different at the molecular level except for cytoform B, which is genetically distinct from the others. This might indicate that cytoform B is a distinct species. Further morphological and molecular work using other genes is needed to clarify this. Our results also argue for the need of integrated approach, both cytological and molecular studies to understanding biodiversity of black flies. The star-like shape of the mtDNA genealogy is consistent with the sudden population expansion of the mismatch distribution analysis and large negative values of Fu's Fs and Tajima's D-tests, indicating a population demographic expansion. The expansion time is estimated to be in the late Pleistocene (about 120 000 years ago). Therefore, the overall low level of genetic structure could be due to sharing a recent history. The ancestral haplotype was found in the mountainous area in northeastern Thailand, suggesting that this area could have been the refugium of the species complex during the Pleistocene glaciations. Our results are consistent with previous findings about population expansion in response to the Pleistocene climatic change, thus revealing the importance of this historical event in shaping the genetic structure and diversity of Southeast Asian mainland species.