The Adaptation of Bloodsucking Black Flies to Feeding on Warm-blooded Animals
Keywords:black flies, feeding adaptation, homoiothermal tetrapodes
Simuliidae morphological adaptations to suck the blood are combined into several groups: habitus, sensory vesicle of maxillary palp (Lutz’s organ), mouthparts, claws adaptations. Habitus adaptations can be traced in smaller absolute body sizes, relatively large head sizes, reduction of 2–6 abdomen sternites, presence of wide wings. The sensory organ adaptations are associated with a size decrease of the sensory vesicle during the transition from the ornithophilia to the mammalophilia of Simuliidae. Adaptations in the mouthparts structure are associated with the presence of hooks on the labrum, fringes with downward directed spinules on the distal margin of the hypopharynx, developed teeth on the maxillas and mandibles apical margins. The structure of females claws is adapted to various groups of hosts of the blood feeders – birds, mammals. Probably that the initial type of black flies hematophagy was ornithophilia.