Recently, there has been growing interest in analysis of the geographical variation between populations of different Phlebotomus spp. and American sand flies by comparing the sequences of various genes. However, little is known about the genetic structure of the genus Sergentomyia França & Parrot. No study has been carried out on Sergentomyia minuta Rondani. Most authors recognize this as a species with a high degree of morphological polymorphism, and some suspect that there are two subspecies: Se. minuta minuta Rondani in Europe, having about 40 horizontal cibarial teeth (sticks aligned along a straight line in the cibarial cavity), and Se. minuta parroti Adler & Theodor in North Africa, having about 70 cibarial teeth. Here we analyzed phylogeographic patterns using cytochrome b (Cytb) and cytochrome C oxidase I mtDNA for 29 populations from 10 countries: Algeria, Cyprus, France (continental and Corsica), Greece (continental and Crete), Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Portugal (continental and Atlantic Savage Islands), Spain, and Tunisia. We analyzed intra- and interpopulation patterns of genetic diversity. Our results from Bayesian inference showed a complex genetic structure of Se. minuta with four haplogroups including many different haplotypes. One haplogroup includes all the specimens from North Africa. A second haplogroup includes a few specimens from the south of France, Spain, and one from Portugal. The third includes many specimens from southern France, all the specimens from Corsica, one from Spain, and all specimen from Portugal except one. A fourth branch includes specimens from the Balkans, Malta, Crete, Cyprus, and curiously some from the Atlantic Savage Islands; settlement of the latter population remains unexplained. However, our results suggest that the settlement of the Mediterranean basin could have occurred at the same time for Se. minuta and both Phlebotomus perniciosus Newstead and Phlebotomus ariasi Tonnoir. The spatial distribution of haplotypes was congruent with phylogenetic findings.
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