Mr David López Peña

PhD student

David López Peña is a PhD student at the Institute Cavanilles of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology in the University of Valencia (Valencia-Spain), studying the Simuliidae fauna of this part of the world.

“Diptera Simuliidae are an insect vector species necessary to study around the world. Even though their minuscule size, scarcely (1.5 – 5 mm) they are worldwide spread and they can be very abundant in some places, above all near watercourses such as rivers, tributaries and streams. Of the 52 species identified in Spain until now, 6 of them are considered annoying and troublesome species owing to their blood sucking behaviour on both animals and humans beings. Moreover, they can also act as potential vector species of pathogenic agents.

My current work is focus on improving the knowledge of blackflies in Valencian Autonomous Region, providing a check list of simuliids in this area, as well as, knowing their distribution, bioecology and also paying special attention to those species responsible of bother to animals and humans with their bites. Part of the work has consisted on taking samples of immature states, larvae and pupae, from numerous and various rivers with different conditions. However, the other part is attempting to design and elaborate risk maps focusing the efforts on those towns, villages and cities located close to their breeding points, which are suffering their attacks more often than not”.