Simulium

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Simulium
Black fly.jpg
Simulium yahense
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Simuliidae
Subfamily: Simuliinae
Tribe: Simuliini
Genus: Simulium
Latreille, 1802
Type species
S. colombaschense
(Scopoli, 1780) usually attrib. Fabricius, 1787
Subgenera

See Text.

Synonyms

Simulium is a genus of black flies, which may transmit diseases such as onchocerciasis (river blindness). It is a large genus with several hundred species, and 41 subgenera.[1]

The flies are pool feeders. Their saliva, which contains anticoagulants, a number of enzymes and histamine, is mixed with the blood, preventing clotting until it is ingested by the fly. These bites cause localized tissue damage, and if the number of feeding flies is sufficient, their feeding may produce a blood-loss anaemia.

The host’s reaction to fly attacks may include systemic illness, allergic reactions or even death, presumably mediated by histamine. In humans, this systemic reaction is known as “black fly fever” and is characterized by headaches, fever, nausea, adenitis, generalized dermatitis, and allergic asthma.

Systematics[edit]

Subgenera:

References[edit]