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Numerical Taxonomy of Old World Phlebotominae (Diptera: Psychodidae): 1. Considerations of Morphological Characters in the Genus Phlebotomus Rondani & Berté 1840

Keywords: Old World sand flies , Phlebotomus , Psychodidae Phlebotominae , numerical taxonomy

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Numerical analyses (correspondence analysis, ascending hierarchical classification, cladistic approach) were applied to the morphological characters of the adults of the genus Phlebotomus Rondani & Berté 1840. They confirm the reliability of the classic classifications, and also redefine the taxonomic and phylogenetic position of certain taxa. Thus, Spelaeophlebotomus Theodor 1948, Idiophlebotomus Quate & Fairchild 1961 and Australophlebotomus Theodor 1948 deserve generic rank. Among the vectors of leishmaniasis, the subgenus Phlebotomus Rondani & Berté 1840 is probably ancient. The results attribute an intermediate taxonomic and phylogenetic position to the taxa Euphlebotomus Theodor 1948 and Anaphlebotomus Theodor 1948, and reveal the probable artificial nature of the latter. The comparatively large numbers of species of subgenera Paraphlebotomus Theodor 1948, Synphlebotomus Theodor 1948 and, above all, Larroussius Nitzulescu 1931 and Adlerius Nitzulescu 1931, suggest that they are relatively recent. The development of adult morphological characters, the validity of their use in taxonomy and proposals for further studies are discussed.


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