Accurate species identifications are the essential first step in understanding the medical, economic, and ecological importance of black flies. The utility of DNA barcoding based on cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) sequences was evaluated for identifying six common species of Palearctic black flies in the subgenus Wilhelmia, including several that are virulent pests. Chromosomally identified larvae from Turkey and Germany and COI sequences in GenBank were analyzed. Intraspecific genetic divergence was 0.7-3.5% (mean 1.6%), whereas interspecific genetic divergence was 2.7-16.9%. On the basis of COI barcodes, the six nominal species of Simulium (Wilhelmia) were clustered in three distinct clades with high levels of genetic divergence, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. All specimens of Simulium equinum (L.), Simulium pseudequinum Seguy, and Simulium paraequinum Puri were correctly identified. However, >75% of identifications were ambiguous for Simulium lineatum (Meigen) and Simulium turgaicum Rubtsov (Meigen) because of overlapping intra-and interspecific divergence of the two species and Simulium balcanicum (Enderlein), all three of which are chromosomally similar and nearly isomorphic. Phylogenetic evaluation showed that S. balcanicum, S. equinum, S. pseudequinum, and S. paraequinum were monophyletic, with high bootstrap and posterior probability values, but it also showed that S. lineatum and S. turgaicum were paraphyletic, each clustering in two distinct groups, suggesting the presence of cryptic taxa. Although DNA barcoding provided a partialmeans of identification and indications of additional biodiversity, other- molecularmarkers are needed to clarify the limits of all pest species of the subgenus Wilhelmia.