G Arias Robledo3; T Stark2; R Wall3; J Stevens1;
1 Biosciences, University of Exeter, UK; 2 RAVON, Netherlands; 3 School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK
DiscussionThe blowfly genus Lucilia is composed largely of saprophages and
facultative myasis agents, including the economically important species
Lucilia cuprina and Lucilia sericata. Only one species is generally
recognised as an obligate agent of myiasis, Lucilia bufonivora Moniez, and
this is an obligate parasite of toads. Lucilia silvarum (Meigen), a sister
species, behaves mainly as a carrion breeder, however, it has also been
reported as a facultative parasite of amphibians. Morphologically, these
species are almost identical and historically this has led to
misidentification, taxonomic ambiguity and a paucity of studies of L.
bufonivora. In this study, dipterous larvae were analysed from toad
myiasis cases from the UK, The Netherlands and Switzerland, together with
adult specimens of fly species implicated in amphibian parasitism: L.
bufonivora, L. silvarum and Lucilia elongata. Partial sequences of two
genes, COX1 and EF1α, were amplified. Seven additional blowfly species
were analysed as outgroups. Bayesian inference trees of COX1, EF1α and a
combined-gene dataset were constructed. All larvae isolated from toads
were identified as L. bufonivora and no specimens of L. silvarum were
implicated in amphibian myiasis. This study confirms L. silvarum and L.
bufonivora as distinct sister species and provides unambiguous molecular
identification of L. bufonivora.