The thirty species of Culicoides biting midges that play a greater or lesser role in the transmission of bluetongue (BT) disease in the pantropical regions of the world are listed. Where known, each species is assigned to its correct subgenus and species complex. In the Mediterranean region there are four species of Culicoides involved in the transmission of BT and belong in the subgenera Avaritia Fox, 1955 (three species) and Culicoides Latreille, 1809 (one species). Using both morphological and molecular second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) sequence data, the authors reappraise the taxonomy of these four species and their congeners. A total of 56 populations of Culicoides collected from across Italy and representing 17 species (18 including the outgroup taxon C. imicola Kieffer, 1913) were analysed. The findings revealed the following: • C. imicola is the only species of the Imicola Complex (subgenus Avaritia) to occur in the Mediterranean region • in Europe the subgenera Avaritia and Culicoides (usually, but not quite correctly, equated with the C. obsoletus and C. pulicaris groups, respectively) are both polyphyletic, each comprising three or more species complexes (including a hitherto unknown complex) • about half the species studied could not be identified with certainty; furthermore, the results indicate that at least three previously described species of Palaearctic Culicoides should be resurrected from synonymy • finally, a high level of taxonomic congruence occurred between the morphological and the molecular data. One of the ‘new’ vector species, C. pulicaris, was described by the father of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus, in 1758, but today, almost 250 years later, no monograph has appeared that treats the Culicoides fauna of the northern hemisphere as a whole. At a time when such economically important livestock diseases as BT are affecting ever larger areas of Europe, it would seem appropriate to commence the production of such a monograph to aid in the field identification of vector Culicoides. This ‘unfinished business’ might best be achieved through a collaborative network embracing all ceratopogonid specialists currently active in both the Palaearctic and Nearctic faunal realms.

Taxonomy of Culicoides vector complexes - unfinished business

GOMULSKI, LUDVIK;GASPERI, GIULIANO
2004-01-01

Abstract

The thirty species of Culicoides biting midges that play a greater or lesser role in the transmission of bluetongue (BT) disease in the pantropical regions of the world are listed. Where known, each species is assigned to its correct subgenus and species complex. In the Mediterranean region there are four species of Culicoides involved in the transmission of BT and belong in the subgenera Avaritia Fox, 1955 (three species) and Culicoides Latreille, 1809 (one species). Using both morphological and molecular second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) sequence data, the authors reappraise the taxonomy of these four species and their congeners. A total of 56 populations of Culicoides collected from across Italy and representing 17 species (18 including the outgroup taxon C. imicola Kieffer, 1913) were analysed. The findings revealed the following: • C. imicola is the only species of the Imicola Complex (subgenus Avaritia) to occur in the Mediterranean region • in Europe the subgenera Avaritia and Culicoides (usually, but not quite correctly, equated with the C. obsoletus and C. pulicaris groups, respectively) are both polyphyletic, each comprising three or more species complexes (including a hitherto unknown complex) • about half the species studied could not be identified with certainty; furthermore, the results indicate that at least three previously described species of Palaearctic Culicoides should be resurrected from synonymy • finally, a high level of taxonomic congruence occurred between the morphological and the molecular data. One of the ‘new’ vector species, C. pulicaris, was described by the father of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus, in 1758, but today, almost 250 years later, no monograph has appeared that treats the Culicoides fauna of the northern hemisphere as a whole. At a time when such economically important livestock diseases as BT are affecting ever larger areas of Europe, it would seem appropriate to commence the production of such a monograph to aid in the field identification of vector Culicoides. This ‘unfinished business’ might best be achieved through a collaborative network embracing all ceratopogonid specialists currently active in both the Palaearctic and Nearctic faunal realms.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/109849
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