Midges of the genus Pseudodiamesa Goetghebuer (Diptera, Chironomidae): current knowledge and palaeoecological perspective

Research paper by Boris P. Ilyashuk, Elena A. Ilyashuk, Eugeny A. Makarchenko, Oliver Heiri

Indexed on: 08 Jun '10Published on: 08 Jun '10Published in: Journal of paleolimnology


Larvae of the genus Pseudodiamesa Goetghebuer, which includes 12 described valid species and is divided by Makarchenko and Makarchenko (1999) into two species groups, Pseudodiamesa branickii group and Pseudodiamesanivosa group, are widespread in lakes and running waters of cold, high-latitude and high-altitude areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Larval remains of the genus are often found in subfossil assemblages from these cold regions, but intra-genus morphotypes usually are not distinguished by palaeoecologists. Current knowledge of the ecology of the species indicates that the Pseudodiamesa nivosa group is more cold-adapted than the Pseudodiamesa branickii group and, therefore, these two intra-genus morphotypes cannot be amalgamated into a larger taxonomic unit without losing substantial information. Here we present the morphological characters of head capsules of Pseudodiamesa larvae attributed to the different species-group morphotypes, which are clearly visible in subfossil specimens. The information summarized in this paper will help provide more reliable chironomid-based palaeoclimatic inferences from lake sediment records covering colder phases through the late Quaternary in the Northern Hemisphere.