, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 37–65

Cytogenetics and evolution of Simulium ornatipes skuse (Diptera:Simuliidae) I. Sibling speciation

  • D. G. Bedo

DOI: 10.1007/BF00292888

Cite this article as:
Bedo, D.G. Chromosoma (1977) 64: 37. doi:10.1007/BF00292888


Larval populations of the morphologically distinct species Simulium ornatipes and S. neornatipes and a subspecies of the former, S. ornatipes norfolkense, were analysed using polytene chromosome cytology. Fixed inversion differences, distinct differentiated sex chromosomes and unique arrays of chromosomal polymorphisms reveal two sibling species, S. ornatipes A and B, within S. ornatipes, and two, S. neornatipes 1 and 2, within S. neornatipes. Chromosomally S. ornatipes norfolkense is similar to S. ornatipes A. An unprecedented level of shared inversion polymorphism is shown by S. ornatipes A and B indicating a very close relationship between them. While it may be postulated that such a situation has arisen by independent origin of the shared inversions within each species, or by introgression of these rearrangements between the two species, it is concluded that the shared polymorphisms in fact originate from a common ancestor. Within the four chromosomally defined species, differentiated sex chromosome systems occur which may involve any of the three chromosome pairs. Simulium ornatipes A is particularly interesting because there are indications that it may be polymorphic for differentiated sex chromosomes on two different elements and that it may also share a sex chromosome marker with S. ornatipes B, a unique situation in the Simuliidae. The evolution of sex chromosome systems in the four species is compared with that of other Simulids and its intimate connection with speciation emphasised. Finally the data on fixed inversions, differentiated sex chromosomes and shared polymorphisms is used to construct a phylogeny of the four species outlining their patterns of speciation.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. Bedo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Population Biology, Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberra CityAustralia

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