Biology 625
Fall semester lecture note outline

Updated: 13 March 2005

The text below simply represents a crude lecture outline of one of the topics covered in class. It is not meant to substitute for attending lectures or ignoring the textbook. Additional material, including line drawings, kodachromes, and more extensive information on life-cycles and basic biology, will be supplied in the lectures.

TOPIC 45. Order: Diptera; suborder: Nematocera

  1. antennae with many segments; filamentous
  2. many males have very elaborate (plumose) antennae to detect female pheromones; females tend to have simple antennae
  3. wings have many veins, which is a fairly primative condition
  4. larvae with well-developed head capsule
  5. larvae often quite active and many free-swimming
  6. most species have larvae and pupae that are aquatic or develop in wet soils
  7. includes mosquitos, sand flies, midges, and black flies

FAMILY: Simulidae (black flies)

  1. over 1,720 named species and about 26 genera
  2. small flies, generally dark although some species lighter in color
  3. mainly temperate or subarctic; many exceptions however
  4. most species with hump-back appearance
  5. antennae with 11 segments, without hairs; ocelli absent
  6. wings wide, and have well developed anterior veins but poor venation elsewhere in wing
  7. females with serrated mandibles used to cut skin; females also feed on nectar; males with reduced mouthparts and feed solely on nectar
  8. Large pair of compound eyes
    1. Females dichoptic (eyes separated on top of head)
    2. Males holoptic (eyes touch on top of head); males also with larger lenses on upper portion of eye
  9. life-cycle of typical Simulium sp.
    1. females require blood meal for proper ovarian development
    2. females enter water and oviposit submerged; 150-800 eggs per oviposition
    3. eggs layed in flowing, well oxygenated waters
    4. larvae hatch 1-4 days; attach by a posterior disclike sucker ("anal sucker" or "posterior circlet") to a silken mat it produces and hangs downstream and filter feeds using fanlike projections around mouth
    5. 6-9 larval instars
    6. spins cocoon and transforms into pupa
    7. in a 2-6 days to several weeks, the adult emerges
    8. copulation in flight
  10. some species are important pests of livestock and wildlife, and large numbers can kill their hosts
  11. vectors of some Onchocerca spp. (i.e. Onchocerca gutterosa infecting bovids; Onchocerca volvulus infecting humans)
  12. vectors of some Leukocytozoon spp. (i.e. Leukocytozoon simondi infecting anseriform birds is transmitted by Simulium rugglesi; Leukocytozoon smithi infecting turkeys is transmitted by several Simulium spp.)
  13. representative genera include Cnephia, Prosimulim, Simulium
  14. Kansas is known to host 14 spp. of blackflies, all of which are distributed widely within North America (2002, J. Kansas Ent. Soc. 75: 203-213). At least 5 other species are thought to occur in Kansas, although none of these have yet been verified. The primary pests are Simulium meridionale, S. vittatum (complex) and, to a lesser extent, S. johannseni.
    1. Cnephia dacotensis
    2. Extemnia taeniatifrons
    3. Stegopterna mutata
    4. Simulium argus
    5. Simulium bivittatum (not verified)
    6. Simulium confusum (not verified)
    7. Simulium decorum
    8. Simulium griseum (not verified)
    9. Simulium jacumbae
    10. Simulium jenningsi
    11. Simulium johannseni
    12. Simulium luggeri
    13. Simulium meridionale
    14. Simulium ozarkense (not verified)
    15. Simulium pilosum
    16. Simulium trivittatum (not verified)
    17. Simulium tuberosum
    18. Simulium venustum
    19. Simulium vittatum

FAMILY: Culicidae (mosquitos)

  1. Over 3,500 described species
  2. some host specific whereas others more generalists
  3. slender wings with scales on the wings
  4. elongate proboscis where labium encloses elongated mandibles, maxillae, hypopharynx, and labrum/epipharynx; inserted into dermis and used to imbibe blood; males feed on nectar and cannot suck blood
  5. antennae long, with 14-15 segments
  6. males have plumose antennae to detect pheromones; females have simple antennae
  7. long slender legs
  8. Presence of numerous appressed scales on thorax, legs, abdomen, and wing veins; fringe scales along posterior margin of wings
  9. typical life-cycle
    1. mating occurs shortly after emergence from pupae
    2. females usually mate once, and store sperm in spermatheca
    3. females of most species require blood meal for maturation of eggs in ovary. Eggs develop over several-many hours
    4. female lays eggs (oviposition); may be laid in water in rafts, or individually or in small numbers in water or soil; depends upon species
    5. females may take 1-2 more blood meals, with egg maturation and oviposition after each feeding
    6. eggs hatch either soon or, in other species, following flooding or snow melt
    7. larvae are termed wigglers and occur in water
      1. some with a siphon (breathing tube at posterior end)
      2. well developed head
      3. compound eyes
      4. 4 larval instars; most filter feeders although some predators on other insects\
    8. pupate; pupae termed tumblers and periodically stick breathing tubes from thorax (trumpets) above water; tumble to bottom if detect disturbance
    9. after 2-3 days, adult emerges
    10. females typically live 1-2 weeks in tropical areas, and 3-4 weeks in temperate areas; males shorter lived
  10. vectors of some important diseases
    1. Plasmodium spp. (malaria) transmitted by Anopholes spp.
    2. Some filarids transmitted by mosquitos
    3. Arboviruses like avian pox, yellow fever, dengue, various types of encephalitis
  11. Three subfamilies
    1. Subfamily: Toxorhynchitinae
      1. One genus (Toxorhynchites) with about 75 spp. Although mainly tropical, a few species occur within North America
      2. Adults large, ca 2 cm long and colorful
      3. Proboscis curves backwards; incapable of piercing skin
      4. Larvae large and predatory; often dark reddish
    2. Subfamily: Culicinae
      1. Eggs usually elongate or ovoid; some have ends drawn out into terminal filament
      2. Larvae with siphon
      3. Larvae hang upside down at angle from water surface, with siphon touching water surface (except for two genera which insert siphon into aquatic plants for respiration
      4. Pupae with long, fairly cylindroid trumpets
      5. Adults rest with body parallel to substrate surface, and with proboscis not in line with rest of body
      6. Wing veins solid, brown or black in color
      7. Palps without pale rings
      8. Palps of females shorter than proboscis; palps of males about as long as proboscis
      9. Male palps not swollen anteriorly
      10. About 38 genera (depending upon the author) and 2,700 named spp.
      11. Genera occurring within North America
        1. Aedes (ca 4 spp. in the U.S.)
        2. Coquillettidia (ca 1 sp. in the U.S.)
        3. Culex (ca 29 spp. in the U.S.)
        4. Culiseta (ca 8 spp. in the U.S.)
        5. Deinocerites (ca 3 spp. in the U.S.)
        6. Haemagogus (ca 1 sp. in the U.S.)
        7. Mansonia (ca 2 spp. in the U.S.)
        8. Ochlerotatus (ca 77 spp. in the U.S.)
        9. Orthopodomyia (ca 3 spp. in the U.S.)
        10. Psorophora (ca 15 spp. in the U.S.)
        11. Uranotaenia (ca 2 spp. in the U.S.)
        12. Wyeomyia (ca. 4 spp. in the U.S.)
      12. Genera not occurring within North America (portions of this were derived from the Walter Reed Biosystematics Group website)
        1. Aedeomyia (ca 6 spp.)
        2. Armigeres (ca 50 spp.)
        3. Ayurakitia (ca 2 spp., Thailand)
        4. Eretmapodites (ca 48 spp., Africa)
        5. Ficalbia (ca 7 spp.)
        6. Galindomyia (1 sp., Colombia)
        7. Haemagogus (ca 28 spp., Central and South America)
        8. Heizmannia (ca 38 spp., Indo-China)
        9. Hodgesia (ca 11 spp.)
        10. Isostomyia (5 spp., Central and South America)
        11. Johnbelkinia (3 spp., Central and South America)
        12. Limatus (ca 8 spp., Central and South America)
        13. Malaya (ca 12 spp.)
        14. Maorigoeldia (1 sp., New Zealand)
        15. Mimomyia (ca 43 spp.)
        16. Onirion (ca 7 spp., Central and South America)
        17. Opifex (1 sp., New Zealand)
        18. Runchomyia (7 spp., Central and South America)
        19. Sabethes (ca 36 spp., Mexico, Central and South America)
        20. Shannoniana (3 spp., Mexico, Central, and South America)
        21. Topomyia (ca 47 spp., Indo-China)
        22. Trichoprosopon (ca 13 spp., Central and South America)
        23. Tripteroides (ca 118 spp., Indo-China and Pacific basin)
        24. Udaya (3 spp., India and Malaya)
        25. Verrallina (ca 93 spp., Indo-China and Pacific basin)
        26. Zeugnomyia (ca 3 spp., Indo-Pacific)
    3. Subfamily: Anophelinae
      1. Eggs typically laid singly on water surface; typically boat-shaped and with lateral floats
      2. Siphon absent; larvae lies parallel to water surface and feeds on surface
      3. Pupae with short, conical trumpets
      4. Adults of most species rest with bodies at angle to substrate, with proboscis and body in straight line
      5. Generally light and dark blots of scales on wing veins (i.e. spotted wings)
      6. Palps dark and often with pale rings
      7. Palps of both males and females about as long as proboscis
      8. Male palps expanded at ends
      9. Most species nocturnal, or feed in evening or early morning
      10. Molecular evidence suggests a South American origin to this subfamily, and that this group arose in the Mesozoic
      11. Only three genera known
        1. Anopheles with ca 440 spp. At least 22 spp. occur within the United States (see below). Those with ranges that extend into Kansas are indicated by an asterisk. In time, a few additional species may be found to occur here
          1. Anopheles albimanus
          2. Anopheles atropos
          3. Anopheles barberi*
          4. Anopheles bradleyi
          5. Anopheles crucians*
          6. Anopheles diluvialis
          7. Anopheles earlei
          8. Anopheles franciscanus*
          9. Anopheles freeborni
          10. Anopheles georgianus
          11. Anopheles grabhamii
          12. Anopheles hermsi
          13. Anopheles inundatus
          14. Anopheles judithae
          15. Anopheles maverlius
          16. Anopheles occidentalis
          17. Anopheles perplexans
          18. Anopheles pseudopunctipennis*
          19. Anopheles punctipennis*
          20. Anopheles quadrimaculatus*
          21. Anopheles smaragdinus
          22. Anopheles walkeri*
        2. Bironella with ca 8 spp. (Australasian; does not occur in North America)
        3. Chagasia with ca 4 pp. (Neotropical; does not occur in North America)

FAMILY: Psychodidae; Subfamily: Phlebotominae (sand flies)

  1. 700 spp and about 6 genera; only 3 genera suck blood
  2. slender flies, 1.2-3.5 mm long
  3. elongate wings that are lanceolate, held erect over body at about 60 degree angle when fly is at rest; weak fliers
  4. cutting mandibles; no proboscis like moquitos
  5. males never suck blood and feed on plant juices; females feed both on plant juices and take blood meals
  6. most species nocturnal; few diurnal however
  7. exoskeleton delicate; need to avoid hot, dry conditions
  8. life-cycle
    1. females attracted to areas with feces or decaying vegetation; males often territorial in these areas
    2. following mating and a blood meal, females lay eggs in dark areas with high humidity and the organic debris; several eggs layed at a time
    3. larvae hatch and feed on organic debris
    4. larvae with two pair of long, posterior (caudal) bristles
    5. 4 larval instars (2-10 weeks total); some larvae overwinter
    6. pupate; lasts about 10 days
    7. larval skin still remains attached to posterior end of pupa, so that the two pair of posterior bristles of the larvae remain
  9. 3 important genera and some others of lesser importance
    1. Lutzomyia (new world) (14 spp known from the U.S.)
      1. Lutzomyia anthophora - known to occur throughout southern Texas
      2. Lutzomyia apache - distribution includes Arizona, New Mexico
      3. Lutzomyia aquilonia - distribution includes Washington state, northern Colorado, and southern Alberta
      4. Lutzomyia californica - distribution includes California, Washington state, Arizona, and eastern Texas.
      5. Lutzomyia cruciata - known from northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia
      6. Lutzomyia cubensis - known from southern Florida
      7. Lutzomyia diabolica - known to occur throughout much of Texas
      8. Lutzomyia oppidana - distribution includes Washington state, southern British Columbia, northern Colorado, western Montana, and eastern Texas.
      9. Lutzomyia shannoni - throughout the southeastern and eastern portions of the U.S. Widely distributed.
      10. Lutzomyia stewarti - known to occur throughout much of California
      11. Lutzomyia tanyopsis - known from southern Arizona
      12. Lutzomyia texana - known to occur throughout southern Texas
      13. Lutzomyia vexator - distribution very wide. Known to occur throughout the western one-half of the United States, the entire southern one-half of the United States, along the entire east coast, and into southern Alberta and southern Ontario. Probably occurs throughout the U.S.
      14. Lutzomyia xerophila - known from Southern California
    2. Brumptomyia (New World)
    3. Phlebotomus (Old world)
    4. Sergentomyia (Old world)
    5. Warileya (New World)
  10. sandflies in North America (Young and Perkins, 1984, Mosquito News 44: 263-304). Although I am not aware of any official reports of sandflies from Kansas, probable species in this state would be Lutzomyia aquilonia, L. oppidana, L. shannoni, and L. vexator. Perhaps L. californica as well
  11. capable of carrying various diseases
    1. Carrion's disease (Bartonella bacilliformes) in South America; bone, joint, and muscle pains; occasionally death
    2. Sandfly fever, an Arbovirus in the Mediterranean/Asia/India area producing a non-fatal, febril illness
    3. Leishmania spp.

FAMILY: Ceratopogonidae (biting midges, no-see-ums)

  1. 5500 or more described spp; 125 genera
  2. small dipterans, less than 1 mm in length
  3. mainly day feeders
  4. most spp feed on insects. Some feed on cold-blooded vertebrates and 4 genera are known to feed on mammals.
    1. Austroconops
    2. Culicoides
    3. Forcipomyia
    4. Leptoconops
  5. the genus Culicoides, with about 1,200 species, is the most important (although some members of the genus Leptoconops can also pose a biting problem)
    1. pair of humeral pits (depressions) located at anterior, dorsal end of thorax
    2. many spp have thorax covered by small, dark spots
    3. females feed on plant juices and also suck blood
    4. males with plumose antennae
    5. wings narrow, with few veins and often spots
    6. females deposit eggs in water or moist soils; common sites include in decaying vegetations, cattle manure, and temporary tree or stump holes with water
    7. vectors of some diseases
      1. bluetongue (an orbivirus) is a hemorrhagic disease of ruminants
      2. some filarids, i.e. several Mansonella spp., a couple of Onchocerca spp.
      3. some malarias (some Leukocytozoon spp., some Haemoproteus spp., some Hepatocystis spp.)

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