THE ROLE OF NEOTROPICAL BLACKFLIES (DIPTERA: SIMULIIDAE) AS VECTORS OF THE ONCHOCERCIASIS: A SHORT OVERVIEW OF THE ECOLOGY BEHIND THE DISEASE
Keywords:Blackflies, onchocerciasis, ecology.
The Blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) are a cosmopolitan dipteran family, comprising 2102 described species. Although insects of this family are widely distributed, their immatures are restricted to areas where suitable lotic conditions allow their development. While the Onchocerciasis has been largely studied over the years, it still lacks a more integrated approach with the vector ecology. In this paper, we examine the ecological factors that potentially play a role in the disease dynamics. Our aim is to identify the ecological factors that are potentially important in the vector dynamics and the gaps in the current knowledge of blackfly ecology that could lead to a better understanding of the underlying factors behind the disease dynamics.
Keywords: Blackflies; onchocerciasis; ecology.