Revision of the Ketaketa subcomplex of blackflies of the Simulium damnosum complex


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Abstract

A revision of the taxonomy of the Ketaketa subcomplex of the Simulium damnosum Theobald complex (Diptera: Simuliidae) is presented including new material from Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa. The cytotaxonomy, morphology and molecular identity of known and new taxa are described. The Ketaketa subcomplex is cytotaxonomically defined by the paracentric inversion 1L-7. We recognize three sibling species, namely Simulium latipollex (Enderlein), Simulium plumbeum Krueger, sp.n. and Simulium kipengere Krueger, sp.n., the latter comprising three cytoforms: ‘Typical’, ‘Linthipe’ and ‘Mombo’. The cytoforms ‘Mwamphanzi’, ‘Ketaketa’ and ‘Hammerkopi’ are synonymized with S. plumbeum. Identification keys are provided on the basis of chromosomal and morphological characters. In view of their potential role as vectors of human onchocerciasis (river blindness) we also discuss the possible medical importance of the different cytoforms and their geographical distribution.

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