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New black fly species discovered in Indonesia

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Credit: Hiroyuki Takaoka

A new species of black fly has been discovered in Indonesia on the island of Borneo. The new species, which belongs to the family Simuliidae, is described in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

A team of researchers from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, discovered it while surveying aquatic stages of black flies in Indonesia. In total, they collected nine species, and two of them were new to science, although only one is described in the JME paper.

The new species, Simulium kalimantanense, was named in honor of the Indonesian state of Kalimantan, where it was discovered.

The biology and behavioral habits of S. kalimantanense, including whether or not it bites humans or other animals, are yet unknown.

"This is a new species, so its biting habits remain unknown," said Dr. Hiroyuki Takaoka, one of the authors. "One species, Simulium asakoae, of the subgenus Gomphostilbia, to which this new species belongs, is known to be a vector of an unknown filariasis — a parasitic disease caused by infection with roundworms — and it probably parasitizes birds. So there is a possibility of this new species carrying some roundworms that can infect wild mammals or birds."

The new fly is the first known member of the Simulium (Gomphostilbia) banauense species-group to be found in Borneo.

A complete description of the new species, along with a key for identifying the 19 Bornean species in the subgenus Gomphostilbia, is provided in the article.

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The full article, "A New Species of Simulium (Gomphostilbia) (Diptera: Simuliidae) From Kalimantan, Indonesia, With Keys to Identify 19 Bornean Species of the Subgenus Gomphostilbia," is available at http://jme.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/04/18/jme.tjw017.

The Journal of Medical Entomology is published by the Entomological Society of America, the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, and hobbyists. For more information, visit http://www.entsoc.org.

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