We describe the abiotic factors affecting the distribution of black flies at a microhabitat scale, rather than at the regional scale usually present in the literature on the Neotropics. Black fly larvae were sampled from the Tocantins River and three tributaries, located in the Brazilian savanna (state of Tocantins, Brazil) during six bi-monthly sampling periods from October 2004-August 2005. At each sampling site, 15 random quadrats (30 x 30 cm) were sampled each period and for each quadrat were determined mean water velocity, predominant substrate type (rocks, riffle litter or riparian vegetation) and depth detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) was used to determine associations with current velocity, whereas correspondence analysis (CA) was used to estimate site specific current velocity associations. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was used to identify general microhabitat associations. The CCA showed that most species had a trend towards riffle litter, except for Simulium nigrimanum
associated with rocky substrate and Simulium cuasiexiguum
associated with riparian vegetation. The DCA showed a well defined pattern of water velocity associations. The CA revealed that the species showed different speed associations from one site to another, suggesting different competitive pressures resulting in the occurrence of different realized niches.