Taxonomy of Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) in Brazil


Brazil is home to 5 of the 11 extant subfamilies of Chironomidae. Altogether 379 species are recorded from the country and almost half of the species were described after the publication of the Neotropical and Mexican catalog (Spies & Reiss 1996). Podonominae was the last subfamily to be discovered; in 2004 a hygropetric species, Podonomus pepinelli Roque et Trivinho-Strixino, was described from a mountain area in Minas Gerais. The subfamily Telmatogetoninae is restricted to intertidal habitats and is represented by two genera, Telmatogeton and Thallassomyia but only Telmatogeton has been recorded based on described species. Together, these two subfamilies account for 1.0% of the known fauna. The remaining three subfamilies are far more species-rich (Chironominae 67%, Orthocladiinae 22%, and Tanypodinae 9%). The subfamilies Tanypodinae and Chironominae are dominant in low-land freshwater habitats. Orthocladiinae is more species rich in mountainous areas at higher altitudes, and in semi-terrestrial and terrestrial environments.

In South and Southeast Brazil the number of species recorded is much higher in the States of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Santa Catarina than in the neighboring States Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Paraná, and Rio Grande do Sul. From North Brazil 184 species are recorded; most records are from the States of Pará and Amazonas, while from the remaining States, Acre, Amapá, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins there are very few records. The faunas in the Central-Western and Northeastern States are the least known; except for Mato Grosso with 28 species, there are hardly any records from these areas. Of the major Brazilian biomes the Amazon Rainforest have the highest number of recorded species, but most species have only been taken along the main rivers. The fauna in the southeastern parts of the Atlantic Rainforest, Mata Atlântica, is also comparatively well known. The fauna in areas with Cerrado, Pampas, Pantanal and Caatinga is on the other hand much less well studied. There is no recorded species from Pampas, one single species from Caatinga, 3 species are recorded from Pantanal in Mato Grosso do Sul and 5 additional records from Mato Grosso are transition area between Pantanal and Cerrado, the records from Minas Gerais (11) are mostly from Cerrado formation.

 




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