Anopheles funestus has long been recognized as a species complex containing both vectors and non-vectors of malaria (Gillies & De Meillon 1968). The sibling species can be separated with difficulty using morphological characters. A multiplex PCR assay was developed recently that accurately identifies the five most common members of the An. funestus group (Koekemoer et al. 2002). The correct identification of a sibling species within a species complex that contains both vectors and non-vectors is crucial in the clarification of the role of each individual species in malaria transmission (Garros et al. 2004). Anopheles funestus s.s. is known to be the most anthropophilic and endophilic member of the group and a highly efficient vector of malaria in Africa (Gillies & De Meillon 1968). The other species of the group are mainly zoophilic and only An. rivulorum has been found to be a minor malaria vector in Tanzania (Wilkes et al. 1996).
Bittacus tjederi Londt, 1970, together with B. capensis (Thunberg, 1784), B. smithersi Londt, 1972, and B. milleri Londt, 1978, constitute a distinctive species-group of hangingflies which is distributed between Grahamstown and Citrusdal in the southern parts of South Africa (Londt 1978). The recent capture of some B. tjederi specimens prompts this short report.
Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov) (Homoptera: Aphididae) has been the most important pest of wheat, Triticum aestivum, in the summer rainfall production areas of South Africa since its first report as pest in 1978 (Walters 1984). This aphid is endemic to central Asia, southern Russia, countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, Iran and Afghanistan (Durr 1983; Hewitt et al. 1984; Dolatii et al. 2005) but now occurs in all major small grain production regions of the world except northeastern China (Robinson 1992) and Australia (Botha & Hardie 2000).
The birth of this seven-pound book represents a milestone in the understanding and comprehensive documentation of a well-known, little-liked family of biting flies from North America. Over a period of 200 years there have been over 2000 papers and 185 theses or dissertations published on North American blackflies. There are a number of regional guides to Simuliidae but this book sets the standard for the whole of the North American fauna. It covers all of the known 254 species of blackflies, including 43 new species descriptions in a most comprehensive fashion.