The phylogeny of Simulium (Chirostilbia) (Diptera: Simuliidae) and perspectives on the systematics of the genus in the Neotropical Region


Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz




Recently, knowledge of Neotropical Simuliidae has been accumulating quickly. However, information about supra-specific relationships is scarce and diagnoses of Simulium subgenera are unsatisfactory. To investigate the relationships among Simulium (Chirostilbia) species and test the subgenus monophyly, we performed a cladistic analysis. The ingroup included all species of this subgenus and the outgroup included representatives of the 17 species groups of Neotropical Simulium and three Holarctic species. The study was based on a data matrix with 31 terminal taxa and 45 morphological characteristics of adult, pupa and larva. The phylogenetic analysis under equal weights resulted in eight most-parsimonious trees (length = 178, consistency index = 34, retention index = 67). The monophyly of the S. (Chirostilbia) was not supported in our analysis. The Simulium subpallidum species group was closer to Simulium (Psilopelmia) and Simulium (Ectemnaspis) than to the Simulium pertinax species group. Additionally, we describe the three-dimensional shape of the terminalia of male and female of Simulium (Chirostilbia) for the first time and provide comments about the taxonomic problems involving some species of the subgenus: Simulium acarayense, Simulium papaveroi, S. pertinax, Simulium serranum, Simulium striginotum and S. subpallidum.

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