Contribution to the Occurrence of the Blackfly (Diptera:Similiidae) in the Palestinian Territories, West Bank

Shadi Adawi *

Plestinan Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability, Palestine and Aquatic Ecosystems and Resources Laboratory, National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of Carthage, 1082 Tunis, Tunisia.

Elias Handal

Plestinan Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability, Palestine.

Mohamed Salah Romdhane

Aquatic Ecosystems and Resources Laboratory, National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of Carthage, 1082 Tunis, Tunisia.

Leila Hmida

Aquatic Ecosystems and Resources Laboratory, National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of Carthage, 1082 Tunis, Tunisia and Higher Institute of Biotechnology, Monastir University, 5000 Monastir, Tunisia.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aims: The primary objective of the study was to gather evidence regarding the presence of black fly fauna in the Palestinian environment. The research extensively examined breeding sites and habitats, as well as studied the physiochemical parameters of the water in these breeding sites. Furthermore, the study assessed the potential impacts of these insects on both humans and animals

Study Design:  A cross- sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: From January 2023 to August 2023, a cross-sectional survey was conducted in the West Bank-Salfit district to collect larvae and adult blackflies within the Wadi Qana protected area.

Methodology: In January 2023, a field survey was conducted in the Wadi Qana protected area (32.12582, 34.8952) in the Salfit district to study the freshwater fauna. A total of 220 larvae individual of the Blackfly were collected from the running water in the valley. Forceps used to collect specimens and preserved in 70% ethanol, while adults of this group were examined under a dissecting microscope. The specimens were identified using various identification keys [4,9,12].

Results: During the study period, a total of 220 larvae were collected from breeding sites in the freshwater habitats of Wadi Qana. Two subgenera of blackflies were identified in the study area: Simulium (Wilhelmia) Enderlein and Simulium (Odgamia) Enderlein. The results indicate that blackflies breed in fast-flowing freshwater habitats covered by annual aquatic plants, with dissolved oxygen levels at 10.1 mg/L, pH average 8.2   and average temperature 21.6°C.

No significant health effects were recorded or documented in the study area, except for the nuisance caused to humans and animals by the biting of blackflies.

In conclusion, this study marks the first record and presence of the blackfly in the Palestinian environment. Further much more research is needed to explore their fauna, biology, ecology, habitats, distribution, and medical significance.

Conclusion: blackfly was recorded for the first time in the Palestinian environment, more study research are needed to discussed the fauna, biology, ecology, habitats, distribution and the medically important.

Keywords: Blackfly, similiidae, West Bank, distribution, Palestine

How to Cite

Adawi , Shadi, Elias Handal, Mohamed Salah Romdhane, and Leila Hmida. 2023. “Contribution to the Occurrence of the Blackfly (Diptera:Similiidae) in the Palestinian Territories, West Bank”. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health 44 (17):20-26.


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