The Schultzei group of Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is distributed throughout Africa to northern Asia and Australasia and includes several potential vector species of livestock pathogens. The taxonomy of the species belonging to this species group is confounded by the wide geographical distribution and morphological variation exhibited by many species. In this work, morphological and molecular approaches were combined to assess the taxonomic validity of the species and morphological variants of the Schultzei group found in Senegal by comparing their genetic diversity with that of specimens from other geographical regions. The species list for Senegal was updated with four species: Culicoides kingi, C. oxystoma, C. enderleini and C. nevilli being recorded. This is the first record of C. oxystoma from Africa south of Sahara, and its genetic relationship with samples from Israel, Japan and Australia is presented. This work provides a basis for ecological studies of the seasonal and spatial dynamics of species of this species group that will contribute to better understanding of the epidemiology of the viruses they transmit.
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