A survey of biting midges of the genus Culicoides Latreille, 1809 (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in NE Bulgaria, with respect to transmission of avian haemosporidians

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Abstract

This study presents data from a molecular survey of the species of the genus Culicoides from the region of Kalimok Field Station (NE Bulgaria) and haemosporidian parasites occurring in them in order to investigate the host-parasite specificity of haemosporidians to their dipteran vectors. The identification of Culicoides spp. was carried out by morphological and molecular-genetic methods. We collected and analysed 230 individuals of the genus Culicoides. Nine species were found. Eight species were identified morphologically; Culicoides obsoletus, C. riethi, C. newsteadi, C. circumscriptus, C. festivipennis, C. punctatus, C. pictipennis and C. puncticollis. The ninth species might be classified as either of C. nubeculosus or C. riethi and its identification needs additional investigations. The total prevalence of Haemoproteus in the examined biting midges was 2.17%. Three individuals of C. pictipennis were infected with the Haemoproteus lineage TURDUS2 (prevalence 16.67%), a common parasite of thrushes (Turdidae). Two individuals of C. circumscriptus contained Haemoproteus lineages (prevalence 2.78%); these were the lineage HAWF2 (previously reported from Coccothraustes coccothraustes) and a new lineage CULCIR1 not previously reported in the literature.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • Culicoides biting midges, Haemoproteus, specificity, vector-parasite, interactions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-591
JournalActa Parasitologica
Volume58
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes