Description and Bionomics of Mesomermis camdenensis n. sp. (Mermithidae), a Parasite of Black Flies (Simuliidae)


  • Daniel Molloy


Mesomermis camdenensis n. sp. is described from larvae of Simulium tuberosum (lundstroem) collected in Camden Valley Creek, Washington County, New York. This species possesses a barrel-shaped vagina, vulval flap. two short separate spicules, terminal mouth, six longitudinal chords, six cephalic papillae, large sexually dimorpbic anaphids, an esophagns of uniform width which extends for less than one-third of the body length, and a cone-shaped tail directed ventrally without appendage. Juveniles also are described and illustrated. A detailed morphological comparison with the mermithid M. flumenalis Welch is presented. The most pronounced morphological differences between these species are in the shape of the vulva, juvenile tail, and infective stage. Cross-mating trials support the integrity of the new species. The life cycle of M. camdenensis is closely synchronized with that of its primary host, S. tuberosum larvae. Infected S. tuberosum larvae were first collected in May. Emergence of postparasites from late instars took place from mid-June through mid-October. Sampling data indicate a lower susceptibility to infection among S. venuslum Say larvae. Key Words: taxonomy, bionomics, Mesomermis spp., Simulium tuberosum.