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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) : a problem review and evaluation Watts, Susan B.

Abstract

An extensive review herein of world literature on blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae Latreille) with references extending over nearly two centuries, and addressed to diverse interest groups, has highlighted the importance of these flies, their biological and resource-use impacts, the advances in knowledge concerning them, the gaps in the information, the obstacles to progress, the hazards of applying ill-considered heroic measures to cope with them, and the directions which research might profitably pursue. Needs remain for clearer understanding of the components of blackfly behaviour in general, and at a species level, with due regard to determinant factors in attractance and repellence as these decide proneness to attack. Needs remain for a clearer understanding of the factors of differential and changing physiological reaction of the host to the toxin injected by the flies. Other needs remain for more thorough documentation of resource impacts caused by these insects. A great need remains for more complete understanding of the population ecology of blackflies, as well as their role among primary consumers, and as food organisms themselves, in food chains in benthic ecosystems.

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