Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn


  • Heinz MehlhornEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_2897


Latin: simulare = betraying, cheating.


Genus of the dipteran mosquito family Simuliidae.

Life Cycle

The species of the genus Simulium contain rather small (2–6 mm) specimens, which look dark and thus are called “blackflies” (Fig. 1). Since their thorax segments are dorsally protruded, they also got the name “buffalo flies.” There are nearly 1,800 species described in 19 genera, 4 of which have zoonotic importance ( Simulium, Prosimulium, Austrosimulium, Cnephia). Simulium, Odagmia, Boophthora, and Wilhelmia have importance for humans, too. The stages of the life cycle, which occurs in quickly running rivers, is shown in Fig. 2 (p. 1309). Only the females suck blood and thus may transmit pathogens (e.g.,  Onchocerca). The females live for 3 months, while eggs and larvae overwinter (in Europe). The symptoms of simuliotoxicosis (due to injection of saliva during bites) are necrosis, edema, severe itching until death. The adult simulids may fly up to 10 km per day, but...
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany