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Keywords:

  • black fly;
  • DNA barcode;
  • species complex

Abstract

Phylogenetic relationships among four species of the Simulium multistriatum group (Diptera: Simuliidae) in Thailand were examined based on two mitochondrial genes (COI, COII) and one nuclear gene (18S/ITS1). Simulium takense was found to be genetically divergent (>20.3% for COI) from the other species, consistent with their distinctive morphology. Simulium chainarongi and S. chaliowae were monophyletic but were included in paraphyletic S. fenestratum. Simulium fenestratum was divided into three distinct lineages with high levels of genetic divergence. This suggests that S. fenestratum is a species complex. Neither morphological nor cytological examinations revealed evidence of sibling species. The clades derived from phylogenetic analyses were found to be correlated with the ecological conditions of larval habitat. Therefore, ecological adaptation may have played a role in black fly diversification and evolution. These results suggest the use of integrated, multidisciplinary approaches for fully understanding black fly biodiversity and systematics.