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Update of the species checklist of Culicoides Latreille, 1809 biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) of Morocco

Bourquia M., Garros C., Rakotoarivony I., Gardes L., Huber K., Boukhari I., Delecolle J.C., Baldet T., Mignotte A., Lhor Y., Khallaayoune K., Balenghien T.. 2019. Parasites and Vectors, 12 : 13 p..

DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3720-4

Background: Investigations of Culicoides fauna, including inventories, were carried out in Morocco at different periods after the country had faced major bluetongue and African horse sickness outbreaks. However, no comprehensive reference publication has provided a clear overview of the Culicoides species diversity. This study reviewed available data on Culicoides biting midge species in Morocco from 1968 to 2015 (published and grey literature in French and English) in order to revise the current checklist, in light of state of the art taxonomic and systematic knowledge, and confirmed the checklist with morphological and molecular identifications of specimens collected from the region of Rabat. Methods: Literature related to Culicoides collections in Morocco was collated. Authors were contacted to obtain raw data and additional information for the collections. Fresh Culicoides material was collected and examined from two sites around Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Each collected individual was examined and morphologically identified, if possible, to the species level. In addition, molecular identification was performed to separate closely related species, to confirm difficult morphological identifications and to confirm new species records. Results: A total of 6121 individuals of Culicoides spp. were collected and analyzed and at least 17 species were identified: C. cataneii/C. gejgelensis, C. circumscriptus, C. fagineus, C. festivipennis, C. imicola, C. jumineri, C. kingi, C. longipennis, C. montanus, C. newsteadi, C. obsoletus, C. paolae, C. parotti, C. puncticollis, C. sahariensis, C. scoticus and C. subfagineus. Seven species were confirmed using phylogenetic analyses. Two new species records for Morocco are reported: C. paolae and C. subfagineus. Conclusions: The Moroccan fauna of Culicoides now includes 54 valid species. Further work would certainly increase this total, as one of the clades we identified was not affiliated to any described and valid species.

Mots-clés : culicoides; identification; biodiversité; vecteur de maladie; taxonomie; maroc

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