The Crozet Islands are an isolated series of subantarctic rocks in the Indian Ocean. The highest island peaks are approximately 3500 meters above sea level and these support fresh water streams. One genus of Simuliidae, Crozetia, lives in these streams. Crozetia larvae scrape food from their habitat, which is not characteristic of most simuliid larvae that filter feed. Crozetia is presumably similar to Chironomidae in their scraping feeding behavior.
The Crozetia populations on the Crozet Islands were examined to detect Trichomycete gut fungi. These fungi are known to develop in several families of aquatic Diptera and in some situation might be pathogenic. At least two species of Trichomycetes were discovered in Crozetia populations. One of these fungi, Stachylina sp., is usually found in Chironomidae. The discovery of fully developed Stachylina in Crozetia indicates that this black fly does feed in a similar manner to Chironomidae and that the gut physiology is also similar to that of Chironomidae.
Species 1: Diptera Simuliidae Crozetia
Species 2: Harpellales Legeriomycetaceae Smittium
Species 3: Harpellales Legeriomycetaceae Stachylina macrospora
Keywords: black flies, parasites
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