Environmental Monitoring

Monitoring of the presence of the non-native diptera Trichocera (Saltrichocera) maculipennis Meigen, 1818 (Diptera: Trichoceridae) at the Antarctic bases on and around King George Island.

Dr. Enrique Morelli – Dr. Mónica Remedios. Faculty of Sciences. Contact: emorelli@fcien.edu.uy; mremedios@fcien.edu.uy

In recent years the presence of non-native species has been recorded in Antarctica, Trichocera maculipennis being one of them. This insect belongs to the non-native Diptera Order of the Antarctic ecosystems, and its presence has been documented in that continent since 2013. Its biology, physiology, adaptation to the cold environment and the observation of adult specimens since 2006 in different Bases suggest an apparent successful adaptation in the Antarctic natural environment. However, according to Antarctic policies it is necessary to make the greatest effort to eradicate or control populations of non-native organisms in the area. Faced with this situation, this project aims to provide useful information for the eradication and/or control of this invasive species in the Antarctic ecosystem. The objectives are: to contribute to the current knowledge of non-native diptera species, through systematic identification, on King George Island (Maritime Antarctica), focusing especially on T. maculipennis; to establish areas with reproductive activity, whether spawning, emergencies and T. development. maculipennis; record emergency peaks to evaluate breeding seasons; provide an approximation of the dispersal radius of the species in maritime Antarctica; study the genetic structures of the population and possible demographic history after the Antarctic invasion of T. maculipennis; provide information to establish whether the presence of T. maculipennis on King George Island has been the result of one or more colonization events.