DNA barcoding of tropical black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) of Thailand. Molecular Ecology Resources, 14, 262–271
Pairot Pramual, Peter H. Adler
minute, structurally uniform insects. We assessed the efficiency of DNA barcoding for species identification of tropical
black flies. A total of 351 cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 sequences were obtained from 41 species in six subgenera
of the genus Simulium in Thailand. Despite high intraspecific genetic divergence (mean = 2.00%,
maximum = 9.27%), DNA barcodes provided 96% correct identification. Barcodes also differentiated cytoforms of
selected species complexes, albeit with varying levels of success. Perfect differentiation was achieved for two cytoforms
of Simulium feuerborni, and 91% correct identification was obtained for the Simulium angulistylum complex.
Low success (33%), however, was obtained for the Simulium siamense complex. The differential efficiency of DNA
barcodes to discriminate cytoforms was attributed to different levels of genetic structure and demographic histories
of the taxa. DNA barcode trees were largely congruent with phylogenies based on previous molecular, chromosomal
and morphological analyses, but revealed inconsistencies that will require further evaluation.