, Volume 128, Issue 1-3, pp 177-204

Molecular phylogeny of black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) from Thailand, using ITS2 rDNA

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Abstract

The sequences of the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) were determined for 40 black fly species from Thailand, belonging to 4 subgenera of the genus Simulium, namely Gomphostilbia (12 species), Nevermannia (5 species), Montisimulium (1 species), Simulium sensu stricto (21 species), and an unknown subgenus with one species (Simulium  baimaii). The length of the ITS2 ranged from 247 to 308 bp. All black fly species had high AT content, ranging from 71 to 83.8%. Intraindividual variation (clonal variation) occurred in 13 species, ranging from 0.3 to 1.1%. Large intrapopulation and interpopulation heterogeneities exist in S. feuerboni from the same and different locations in Doi Inthanon National Park, northern Thailand. Phylogenetic relationships among 40 black fly species were examined using PAUP (version 4.0b10) and MrBAYS (version 3.0B4). The topology of the trees revealed two major monophyletic clades. The subgenus Simulium and Simulium  baimaii were placed in the first monophyletic clade, whereas the subgenera Nevermannia + Montisimulium were placed as the sister group to the subgenus Gomphostilbia in the second monophyletic clade. Our results suggest that S. baimaii belongs to the malyschevi-group or variegatum-group in the subgenus Simulium. The molecular phylogeny generally agrees with existing morphology-based phylogenies.