Attachment of Immature Simuliidae to other Arthropods

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AMONG biting flies of the family Simuliidae there are several species which, in their early stages, live in a remarkable association with other animals1,2. The larvæ and pupæ of the Simulium neavei complex, which includes an important vector of human onchocerciasis, are attached to freshwater crabs, and those of the S. copleyi complex to mayfly larvæ. The study of the association was interrupted by the extermination of S. neavei in a large area of Kenya3, and the place of oviposition, the way in which the larvæ find their hosts, and the exact effect of the phenomenon are not yet known. The interest of the association is enhanced by its wide distribution ; the S. neavei complex is represented in the Cameroons Republic4 as well as in eastern and central Africa, and an unrelated species is associated with mayfly larvæ in the U.S.S.R.5. We now record the finding of Simuliids on dragonfly larvæ.

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  1. 1

    van Someren, V. D., and McMahon, J. P., Nature, 166, 350 (1950).

  2. 2

    Freeman, P., and De Meillon, B., “Simuliidae of the Ethiopian Region” (British Museum (Natural History), London, 1953).

  3. 3

    McMahon, J. P., Highton, R. B., and Goiny, H., Bull. World Health Org., 19, 75 (1958).

  4. 4

    Grenier, P., and Mouchet, J., Bull. Soc. Path. Exot., 51, 968 (1958).

  5. 5

    Rubtzov, I. A., Priroda, No. 10, 77 (1948).

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LEWIS, D., REID, E., CROSSKEY, R. et al. Attachment of Immature Simuliidae to other Arthropods. Nature 187, 618–619 (1960) doi:10.1038/187618a0

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