Neotropical Entomology

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 256–270 | Cite as

The Cricotopus (Oliveiriella) (Diptera: Chironomidae) of the High Altitude Andean Streams, with Description of a New Species, C. (O.) rieradevallae

  • N PratEmail author
  • A Paggi
  • C Ribera
  • R Acosta
  • B Ríos-Touma
  • C Villamarín
  • F Rivera
  • P Ossa
  • M Rieradevall
Systematics, Morphology and Physiology


The genus Oliveiriella (Chironomidae, Orthocladiinae) was erected by Wiedenbrug & Fittkau (1997). The adults have characteristic black spots on their wings and other characteristics similar to the genus Cricotopus. Pupal skins are very characteristic with strong short spines in the anal lobe instead of setae, while larvae are distinguishable by the long anal papillae and the intense blue color of their body. However, Andersen et al (2013) consider Oliveiriella as a subgenera of Cricotopus. In this paper, using the sequences of the cox1 gene, we conclude that Oliveiriella should be considered a subgenus within Cricotopus, confirming its status in Andersen et al (2013). Furthermore, we describe Cricotopus (Oliveiriella) rieradevallae Prat & Paggi sp. n. from the Saltana river (Ecuador). The adult males, females, and preimaginal stages of the two species of subgenus Oliveiriella known from South America Cricotopus (O.) almeidai n. comb. from Peru, Brazil, and Argentina and Cricotopus (O.) sanjavieri n. comb. from Argentina are compared with those of Cricotopus (O.) rieradevallae sp. n. from Ecuador. The differences allow the distinction of the three species. The cox1 gene reveals that at least three different undescribed species of the same subgenus are present in the high-altitude tropical Andes. The morphology of the available pupae and pupal exuviae reveals the presence of several morphotypes that are candidates to be described as new species. A key used to distinguish these pupal morphotypes is provided, including the three described species. Additionally, the distribution of the subgenus is discussed.


Biogeography taxonomy Cox1 mitochondrial sequences Midges Orthocladiinae South America 



The authors are very indebted to our Latin American colleagues that made possible the collection of chironomid larvae in Colombia (Lucimar Gomes, Universidad de Caldas), Ecuador (Andrea Encalada, Maja and Natalia García, Universidad San Francisco de Quito), and Peru (Clorinda Vergara and Javier Huanca, Universidad Nacional Agraria de La Molina). Many other people helped in the field collections, and we thank Carolina Arroyo, Fernanda González, Karla Jiménez, and Manuel Andía for their support. Larvae and pupae of Cricotopus (O.) almeidai were provided by M. Donato and A. Siri and larvae of C. (O.) sanjavieri by E. Tejerina. We thank all of them for the material loaned. Núria Sánchez Millaruelo and Pau Fortuño prepared most of the slides and figures respectively. This paper is a scientific contribution no. 995 of the Instituto de Limnologia “Raúl A. Ringuelet” de la Plata.

Supplementary material

13744_2017_548_MOESM1_ESM.doc (56 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 55.5 kb)


  1. Acosta R, Rios-Touma B, Rieradevall M, Prat N (2009) Propuesta de un protocolo de evaluación de la calidad ecológica de rios Andinos (C.E.R.A) y su aplicación en dos cuencas en Ecuador y Perú. Limnetica 28:35–64Google Scholar
  2. Acosta R, Prat N (2010) Chironomidae assemblages in high altitude streams of the Andean region of Peru. Fundam Appl Limnol 177:57–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andersen T, Saether OA, Cranston PS, Epler JH (2013) The larvae of Orthocladiinae (Diptera: Chironomidae) of the Holarctic Region. Keys and diagnoses. In: Andersen T, Cranston PS, Epler JH (eds) The larvae of Chironomidae (Diptera) of the Holarctic Region. Keys and diagnoses. Insect Syst Evol Suppl.66 Lund Sweden, pp 189–386Google Scholar
  4. Cranston, P. S. (2000) The electronic guide of Chironomidae of Australia. Accessed 2000
  5. Cranston PS, Hardy NB, Morse GE, Pusledik L, McCluen SR (2010) When molecules and morphology concur: the “Gondwanan” midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). Syst Entomol 35:635–648Google Scholar
  6. Drummond AJ, Ashton B, Cheung M, Heled J, Kearse M, Moir R (2009) Stones-Havas S, Thierer T, Wilson A Geneious v.4.6.5. Created by BiomattersGoogle Scholar
  7. Epler J (2001) Identification manual for the larval Chironomidae (Diptera) of North and South Carolina. A guide to the taxonomy of the midges of southeastern United States, including Florida. North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Raleigh, NC and St. Johns River Water Management District, Plalatka, FL., Special Publication SJ2011-SP13, 526pGoogle Scholar
  8. Krestian BJ, Kosnicki E, Spindler PH, Stringer S, Epler JH (2009) First neartic records of Oliveiriella Wiedenbrug and Fittkau, with new distributional records for two other new world species of Orthocladiinae (Diptera: Chironomidae). Entomol News 120:349–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Krosch MN, Baker AM, Cranston PS (2011) Systematics and biogeography of the Gondwanan Orthocladiinae (Diptera: Chironomidae). Mol Phylogenet Evol 59:458–468CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Kumar S, Stecher G, Tamura K (2016) MEGA7: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 7.0 for bigger datasets. Mol Biol Evol 33:1870–1874CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Montagna M, Mereghetti V, Lencioni V, Rossaro B (2016) Integrated taxonomy and DNA barcoding of alpine midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). PLoS One 11(3):e0149673. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149673 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Oliveira SJ (1946) Sobre um novo Orthocladiinae neotrópico (Diptera, Chironomidae). In: Livro de homenagem a R. F.Almeida, Imprensa Oficial do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, pp 279–282Google Scholar
  13. Paggi AC (2009) Chironomidae. In: Domínguez E, Fernández H (eds) Macroinvertebrados bentónicos sudamericanos. Sistemática y biología. Fundación Miguel Lillo, Tucumán, pp 383–409Google Scholar
  14. Paggi AC, Donato M (2007) Redescription of the female of Oliveiriella almeidai (Chironomidae: Orthocladiinae). Rev Soc Entomol Argent 66:155–158Google Scholar
  15. Prat N, Acosta R, Villamarín C, Rieradevall M (2012) Guía para el reconocimiento de las larvas de Chironomidae (Diptera) de los ríos Altoandinos de Ecuador y Perú. Clave para la determinación de los principales morfotipos larvarios. Grupo de Investigación F.E.M. (Freshwater Ecology and Management), Departament d’Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona,
  16. Prat N, Ribera C, Rieradevall M, Villamarin C, Acosta R (2013) Distribution, abundance and molecular analysis of Barbadocladius Cranston & Krosch (Diptera, Chironomidae) in tropical, high altitude Andean streams and rivers. Neotrop Entomol 42:607–617CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Prat N, González-Trujillo JD, Ospina-Torres R (2014) Clave para la determinación de exuvias pupales de los quironómidos (Diptera: Chironomidae) de ríos altoandinos tropicales. Rev Biol Trop 62:1385–1406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Prat N, Rios-Touma B, Encalada A (in prep) Composition, life-history, population dynamics and secondary production of the Chironomidae from a tropical high altitude stream (river Saltana, Ecuador)Google Scholar
  19. Ríos-Touma B, Encalada A, Prat N (2011) Macroinvertebrate assemblages of an Andean high-altitude tropical stream: the importance of season and flow. Internat Rev Hydrobiol 96:667–685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ríos-Touma BP, Encalada AC, Bonada N, Rieradevall M, González F, Prat N (2012) The role of flow shaping the functional and structural invertebrate diversity at a high altitude tropical stream. 97th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America PS: 2–57Google Scholar
  21. Roback SS, Coffman WP (1983) Results of the Catherwood Bolivian-Peruvian Altiplano expedition. Part II. Aquatic Diptera including montane Diamesinae and Orthocladiinae (Chironomidae) from Venezuela. Proc Acad Nat Sci Philadelphia 135:9–79Google Scholar
  22. Saether OA (1980) Glossary of chironomid morphology terminology (Diptera: Chironomidae). Ent Scand Suppl 14:1–51Google Scholar
  23. Silvestro D, Michalak I (2012) RaxmlGUI: a graphical front-end for RAxML. Org Divers Evol 12:335–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stamatakis A (2006) RAxML-VI-HPC: maximum likelihood-based phylogenetic analyses with thousands of taxa and mixed models. Bioinformatics 22:2688–2690CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Tamura K, Peterson D, Peterson N, Stecher G, Nei M, Kumar S (2011) MEGA5: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis using maximum likelihood, evolutionary distance, and maximum parsimony methods. Mol Biol Evol 28:2731–2739CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. Tejerina EG, Paggi AC (2009) A new Neotropical species of Oliveiriella Wiedenburg & Fittkau (Diptera, Chironomidae) from Argentina, with description of all life stages. Aquat Insect 31:91–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tejerina EG, Malizia A (2012) Chironomidae (Diptera) larvae assemblages differ along an altitudinal gradient and temporal periods in a subtropical montane stream in Northwest Argentina. Hydrobiologia 686:41–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Villamarín C, Rieradevall M, Paul MJ, Barbour MT, Prat N (2013) A tool to assess the ecological condition of tropical high Andean streams in Ecuador and Peru: the IMEERA index. Ecol Indic 29:79–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Villamarín C, Prat N, Rieradevall M (2014) Caracterización física, química e hidromorfológica de los ríos altoandinos tropicales de Ecuador y Perú. Lat Am J Aquat Res 42:1072–1086CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wiedenbrug S, Fittkau EJ (1997) Oliveiriella almeidai (Oliveira, 1946), gen nov., comb. nov., from South America with description of the pupae. Spixiana 20:167–172Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Freshwater Ecology and Management Research Group, Dept de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències AmbientalsUniv de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Limnología “Dr. R. A. Ringuelet” (ILPLA, CONICET, UNLP)La PlataArgentina
  3. 3.Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRbio), Dept de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències AmbientalsUniv de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Unidad de Biotecnología y Medio Ambiente (BIOMA), Facultad de Ingenierías y Ciencias Agropecuarias (FICA), Ingeniería AmbientalUniv de las AméricasQuitoEcuador
  5. 5.Research Group GEBIOME, Depto de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniv de CaldasManizalesColombia

Personalised recommendations