First record of Tabanus dorsiger Wiedemann, 1821 (Insecta: Diptera: Tabanidae) from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
Keywords:Horse fly, Surra disease, Livestock, Island Ecosystem, Taxonomic study.
The fly Tabanus dorsiger Wiedemann, 1821 belongs to the family Tabanidae, under the infraorder Tabanomorpha and order Diptera, and act as a mechanical vector of various diseases (Maity et al., 2019). While sucking blood from hosts, they transfer numerous pathogens causing vesicular stomatitis, bovine leukosis, anaemia, swine fever, and various species of trypanosomes (Foil, 1989; Krinsky, 1976). “Surra disease” or trypanosomiasis, caused by Trypanosoma evansi (Steel) is one of the most important diseases affecting the health and survival of a number of domestic and wild animals worldwide (Veer et al., 2002). The disease has been categorized under list B diseases by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE, 2014). Tabanus dorsiger has been suspected as a vector of Surra disease from the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh. Maity et al., 2019 recorded this species from Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, and West Bengal. However, the studies are relatively restricted, and comprehensive surveys and collections are required to determine the presence and abundance of the species in other states. As per best of our knowledge, this species has not been recorded from the Island ecosystem of the Andaman & Nicobars. During a survey in 2022 by the Diptera section in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 7 male and 16 female specimens of this species were documented and collected. The first report of this species from this island ecosystem is alarming for the livestock. A detailed study is essential to know the distribution pattern and seasonal abundance of Tabanus dorsiger which has been first time recorded from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India.