oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - The taxonomic status of Culex (Culex) univittatus Theobald (Diptera: Culicidae) in South Africa



The study shows that Culex univittatus in South Africa consists of two morphologically and biologically distinct species, C. univittatus Theobald and C. neavei Theobald. These species are allopatric, C. neavei occurring in the subtropical coastal lowlands of Natal and C. univittatus in the temperate Transvaal highveld. The ranges of the two appear to overlap on or near the Lebombo mountains in north-eastern Natal. At two of three localities sampled in this region a few possible intermediates were detected, but it was considered that these were accidental hybrids and that the two species largely co-exist at these places without interbreeding. Further evidence for reproductive isolation was obtained from crossing experiments with laboratory colonies of the two species, the results of which indicated that isolation was due to differences in mating behaviour.


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