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Research Project: Biological Control and Integrated Management of Invasive Arthropod Pests from Europe, Asia, and Africa

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Title: The Tabanidae (Diptera) of the Greek islands and Cyprus: An annotated checklist with remarks on ecology, zoogeography, and new records on the East Mediterranean fauna

item MULLER, GUNTER - Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical School
item PROZOROV, ALEXEY - University Of Sciences
item TRAORE, MOHAMED - University Of Sciences
item REGAY, EDITA - University Of Sciences
item Hogsette, Jerome - Jerry
item Kline, Daniel - Dan
item CHASKOPOULOU, ALEXANDRA - European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)
item VOLKOVA, JULIA - Ulyanovsk State University
item DIARRA, RABIATOU - University Of Sciences
item PETRANY, GERGELY - University Of Sciences
item SCHNEIDER, TOM - Retired Non ARS Employee
item BECK, ROBERT - Retired Non ARS Employee
item IGNATEV, NIKOLAI - Institute For Entomology - Czech Republic
item YAKOVLEV, ROMAN - Altai State University
item CUI, LIWANG - University Of South Florida
item SCHLEIN, YOSEF - Hebrew University

Submitted to: Ecologica Montenegrina
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2023
Publication Date: 10/6/2023
Citation: Muller, G., Prozorov, A.M., Traore, M.M., Regay, E., Hogsette, Jr, J.A., Kline, D.L., Chaskopoulou, A., Volkova, J., Diarra, R., Petrany, G., Schneider, T., Beck, R.H., Ignatev, N., Yakovlev, R.V., Cui, L., Schlein, Y. 2023. The Tabanidae (Diptera) of the Greek islands and Cyprus: An annotated checklist with remarks on ecology, zoogeography, and new records on the East Mediterranean fauna. Ecologica Montenegrina. 67:45-65.

Interpretive Summary: Monitoring the distribution of insect species is of major importance for detecting and managing invasive species in a timely manner. Regularly updating distribution maps can help inform where management strategies should be applied for effectively controlling the spread and abundance of invasive insect pests. This study focused on updating the distribution of horse flies in the East-Mediterranean basin with a focus on Greek islands and Cyprus. Horse flies are known to mechanically transmit a variety of pathogens that may result in infectious, life threatening diseases to livestock, wild mammals and people. In addition, when present in large numbers, horse flies inflict persistent and painful bites, which can considerably irritate grazing animals, leading to weight loss and decreased milk production. This study produced new knowledge on the distribution of horse flies. The most interesting novel findings in this study are the detection of four horse fly species recorded for the first time in Europe. The newly detected species are efficient vectors for pathogens affecting the health and productivity of livestock and they deserve special attention in future surveys as potential invasive species in Europe.

Technical Abstract: The horse fly fauna of the East Mediterranean is poorly known and, in some geographical areas, has not been studied for decades. The present study summarizes the results of tabanid collections performed over 30 years in the Greek islands (the Cyclades, Dodecanese, North Aegean and Crete) and Cyprus. In total, 18 species were known from the study territory. The present study reports an additional 10 species. Previously, only 1 horsefly species was known from the Dodecanese islands, 1 from the North Aegean islands, and 2 from the Cyclades. This study has raised the number of species to 6, 7, and 9, respectively. The combined taxa for the three island groups have increased from 4 to 17 species. Specifically, the number of species has increased from 3 to 7 in Crete and from 11 to 19 in Cyprus. Additionally, we report 1 new record from the Greek mainland, 1 from the Levantine region, 2 from Lebanon, and 2 from Israel. Four Afrotropical–Palearctic vector species: Atylotus agrestis (Wiedemann, 1828); Tabanus gratus Löw, 1858b; Tabanus sufis Jaennicke, 1867; and Tabanus taeniola Palisot de Beauvois, 1806; are recorded for the first time from Cyprus, and A. agrestis from southern Italy. Their status as invasive species in Europe is discussed, and the four species are illustrated.