Adult swarms of non-biting pestiferous midges (Chironomidae: Diptera), primarily Chironomus plumosus, prevail over and around Lake Trasimeno (Italy) during the summer season. The current field survey (2018–2021, 33 sampling occasions) was carried out in the central area of the lake. It revealed a macrobenthic community consisting of Chironomidae (40.72%) and Oligochaeta (59.23%). Chironomus plumosus was the dominant chironomid species (98.84%). A previous survey (2000–2002, 11 sampling occasions) had highlighted a similar community, although C. plumosus had a lower density, comprising a maximum of 295.0 ind. m−2. This density was five times lower than the maximum densities of 2018–2021. A survey (2018–2021, 58 sampling occasions) conducted in the littoral zone revealed much greater chironomid biodiversity, with C. plumosus abundance of only 24.35% among all chironomids. This species showed an average density (88. 1 ind. m−2) five times lower than its density (467.9 ind. m−2) in the central zone (2018–2021). Therefore, the central area of the lake, constituting about 90% of its total surface area, is the main region for the origin of C. plumosus adults and, consequently, during the summer months, it is the primary source of the annoying swarms that affect residents and tourists of the lake vicinity.
Matteo Pallottini;Sarah Pagliarini;Marianna Catasti;Gianandrea La Porta;Roberta Selvaggi;Elda Gaino;Enzo Goretti
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