Detection of Cryptic Species in the Tabanus nigrovittatus (Diptera: Tabanidae) Complex in Massachusetts by Morphometric and Cuticular Hydrocarbon Analysis

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Greenhead flies of the Tabanus nigrovittatus complex from Massachusetts salt marshes were identified as T. nigrovittatus Macquart and T. conterminus Walker using the morphometric model developed by Sofield et al. Four body measurements from a total of 5,983 female flies collected over 2 consecutive years yielded canonical scores producing a unimodal rather than the expected bimodal distribution. The lack of bimodality indicated that both species were not present at the study site. This was substantiated by cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) analysis of a subsample of these specimens. Fifteen, female flies of the Tabanus nigrovittatus complex from the same site were identified to species using the Sofield et al. morphometric model and validated using CHC analysis. Two individuals of the T. nigrovittatus complex were identified incorrectly as T. conterminus by the morphometric model. The tendency of this model to incorrectly classify some individuals of T. nigrovittatus as T. conterminus brings into question the identity of the Walker syntypes of T. conterminus. Based on CHC analysis, our study shows that both species coexist within our study area.

Keywords: Tabanus conterminus; Tabanus nigrovittatus; gas chromatography; horseflies; methylalkanes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1999

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  • Journal of Medical Entomology is published bimonthly in January, March, May, July, September, and November. The journal publishes reports on all phases of medical entomology and medical acarology, including the systematics and biology of insects, acarines, and other arthropods of public health and veterinary significance.

    The journal is divided into the following sections: Morphology, Systematics, Evolution; Sampling, Distribution, Dispersal; Development, Life History; Population and Community Ecology; Behavior, Chemical Ecology; Population Biology/Genetics; Molecular Biology/Genomics; Neurobiology, Physiology, Biochemistry; Vector Control, Pest Management, Resistance, Repellents; Arthropod/Host Interaction, Immunity; Vector/Pathogen/Host Interaction, Transmission; Vector-Borne Diseases, Surveillance, Prevention; Direct Injury, Myiasis, Forensics; Modeling/GIS, Risk Assessment, Economic Impact. In addition to full-length research articles, the journal publishes interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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