Morphological and mitochondrial DNA characters for identification and phylogenetic analysis of the myiasis-causing flesh flyWohlfahrtia magnificaand its relatives, with a description ofWohlfahrtia monegrosensissp. n. Wyatt & Hall

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Abstract

Wohlfahrtia magnifica (Schiner) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) is a major cause of traumatic myiasis in livestock in Central and Eastern Europe and in countries bordering the Mediterranean. The present study explored the utility of external body characters, genitalia characters and mitochondrial DNA characters for identification of this and related species in the subfamily Paramacronychiinae. Sequence analyses of the 3′ terminal 273 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene revealed two lineages of W. magnifica, one from Spain and France and the other from the rest of Eurasia, differing by only two base pairs. Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b showed that W. magnifica and Wohlfahrtia vigil Walker were sister species; this conclusion was not contradicted by a phylogenetic analysis of the morphological characters. Based on cytochrome b, the genetic distance between specimens of W. vigil from Europe and North America was sufficiently large to justify the recognition of more than one species. A new species, Wohlfahrtia monegrosensis, from northern Spain, was described, based on morphology and cytochrome b. A unique combination of external body characters of males or females were diagnostic for W. magnifica, the W. vigil group and Wohlfahrtia bella, but only the genitalia characters were diagnostic for all nine species studied.

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