METHODS: A total of 432 collections were performed in this study (24 samplings at each of 18 fixed-streams at monthly intervals) from February 2012 to January 2014. Larvae and pupae attached on aquatic substrates such as grasses, leaves and stems, twigs, plant roots and rocks were collected by hand using fine forceps. Stream depth (m), width (m), velocity (m/s), water temperature (°C), acidity (pH), conductivity (mS/cm) and dissolved oxygen (mg/L) were measured at the time of each collection.
RESULTS: A total of 35 black fly species were recorded in the present study. The most frequently collected species were Simulium tani (31.7%) and S. whartoni (21.5%), while the relatively common species were Simulium sp. (nr. feuerborni) (16.2%), S. decuplum (15.5%), S. angulistylum (14.8%), S. bishopi (13.2%) and S. izuae (11.8%). Total estimated species richness ranged between 39.8 and 41.3, which yielded more than 80% of sampling efficiency. Six simuliid species were distributed below 500 m, whereas eight species were distributed above 1400 m. Simulium sp. (nr. feuerborni) and S. asakoae were found from middle to high altitudes (711-1813 m). Simulium whartoni, S. brevipar and S. bishopi were distributed widely from low to high altitudes (159-1813 m). Regression analysis between species richness and PCs revealed that the species richness was significantly associated with wider, deeper and faster streams at low altitude, normal water temperature (23-25 °C), low conductivity, higher discharge, more canopy cover and riparian vegetation and with larger streambed particles (F = 20.8, df = 1, 422, P