A video clip of the biting midge Culicoides anophelis ingesting blood from an engorged Anopheles mosquito in Hainan, China
© Ma et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
Received: 23 October 2013
Accepted: 11 November 2013
Published: 13 November 2013
Biting midges are hematophagus ectoparasites of insects, humans and other animals. Culicoides (Trithicoides) anophelis Edwards1922 is a predator of engorged mosquitoes.
In a field trip of wild mosquito collections, C. anophelis was found on two Anopheles mosquitoes. One mosquito with a midge clinging onto its abdomen was caught on video demonstrating the act of the midge taking blood from the engorged mosquito Anopheles vagus. The midge C. anophelis has a broad host range. Documented in the literature, the midge has been found in various mosquito species in the genera Anopheles, Culex, Aedes and Armigeres.
A video clip was presented demonstrating a midge taking blood from an engorged mosquito. The host promiscuity of C. anophelis raises a concern about its potential as a mechanic or biological vector to spread viruses among mosquito populations.
KeywordsCulicoides anophelis Anopheles mosquito Biting midge Video
The biting midge Culicoides (Trithecoides) anophelis Edwards is a predator of engorged mosquitoes, which was first described by Edwards in 1922 . Later in 1947, Liard reported a C. anophelis sucking engorged blood from the abdomen of a flying mosquito Armigeres lacuum. In the 1950s, C. anophelis was found on the mosquitoes in the genera Aedes, Anopheles, Armigeres and Culex mosquitoes in Hainan, China . There are several reports of the midge in India [4, 5]. Here we report two anopheline mosquitoes that were attacked by C. anophelis, and one scene was caught on video demonstrating the act of a midge taking blood from an engorged mosquito.
Mosquito species known to be infested by C. anophelis
2, 3, current
The study was carried out with the full approval of cow keepers and sampling was undertaken with approval of Yanfeng County, Haikou City, Hainan Province, China.
We thank Professor Yixin Yu in Center for Disease Control and Prevention of PLA for his confirmation of identification of the midge Culicoides anophelis. YM was supported by a grant of National Natural Science Foundation of China-Yunnan Joint Fund (U0932604), JX was supported by a NIH grant (1SC2GM092789-01A1).
- Edwards FW: On some Malayan and other species of Culicoides, with a note on the genus Lasiohelea. Bull Entomol Res. 1922, 13: 161-167. 10.1017/S0007485300028030.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Laird M: A ceratopogonine midge (Culicoides anophelis Edwards, 1922) sucking engorged blood from a mosquito (Armigeres lacuum Edwards, 1922) at Palmalmal, New Britain. Trans & Proc R Soc N Z. 1947, 76 (2): 158-161.Google Scholar
- Chu FI: Four species of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Heleidae) from Hainan island, south China. Acta Entomol Sin. 1959, 9 (2): 161-165.Google Scholar
- Chhilar JS, Chaudhry S: First report of a biting midge Culicoides anophelis parasitzing mosquito Anopheles stephensi from North-western India. J Exp Sci. 2010, 1 (12): 3-6.Google Scholar
- Reddy CVS, Hafeez M: Studies on certain aspects of prevalence of Culicoides species. Indian J Anim Sci. 2008, 78 (2): 138-142.Google Scholar
- McKeever S, Wright MD, Hagan DV: Mouthparts of females of four Culicoides species (Diptera: ceratopogonidae). Ann Entomol Soc Am. 1988, 81 (2): 332-341.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sutcliffe JF, Deepan PD: Anatomy and function of the mouthparts of the biting midge, Culicoides sanguisuga (Diptera: ceratopogonidae). J Morphol. 1988, 198 (3): 353-365. 10.1002/jmor.1051980309.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Carpenter S, Groschup MH, Garros C, Felippe-Bauer ML, Purse BV: Culicoides biting midges, arboviruses and public health in Europe. Antiviral Res. 2013, 100 (1): 102-113. 10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.07.020.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Mellor PS, Boorman J, Baylis M: Culicoides biting midges: their role as arbovirus vectors. Annu Rev Entomol. 2000, 45: 307-340. 10.1146/annurev.ento.45.1.307.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Weaver SC, Reisen WK: Present and future arboviral threats. Antiviral Res. 2010, 85 (2): 328-345. 10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.10.008.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ninio C, Augot D, Delecolle JC, Dufour B, Depaquit J: Contribution to the knowledge of Culicoides (Diptera: ceratopogonidae) host preferences in France. Parasitol Res. 2011, 108 (3): 657-663. 10.1007/s00436-010-2110-9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Viennet E, Garros C, Gardes L, Rakotoarivony I, Allene X, Lancelot R, Crochet D, Moulia C, Baldet T, Balenghien T: Host preferences of Palaearctic Culicoides biting midges: implications for transmission of orbiviruses. Med Vet Entomol. 2013, 27 (3): 255-266. 10.1111/j.1365-2915.2012.01042.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Calvo JH, Berzal B, Calvete C, Miranda MA, Estrada R, Lucientes J: Host feeding patterns of Culicoides species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) within the Picos de Europa National Park in northern Spain. Bull Entomol Res. 2012, 102 (6): 692-697. 10.1017/S0007485312000284.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lassen SB, Nielsen SA, Kristensen M: Identity and diversity of blood meal hosts of biting midges (Diptera: ceratopogonidae: Culicoides latreille) in Denmark. Parasite Vector. 2012, 5: 143-10.1186/1756-3305-5-143.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lassen SB, Nielsen SA, Skovgard H, Kristensen M: Molecular identification of bloodmeals from biting midges (Diptera: ceratopogonidae: Culicoides latreille) in Denmark. Parasitol Res. 2011, 108 (4): 823-829. 10.1007/s00436-010-2123-4.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Pettersson E, Bensch S, Ander M, Chirico J, Sigvald R, Ignell R: Molecular identification of bloodmeals and species composition in Culicoides biting midges. Med Vet Entomol. 2013, 27 (1): 104-112. 10.1111/j.1365-2915.2012.01038.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Braverman Y, Frish K, Reis M, Mumcuoglu KY: Host Preference of Culicoides spp from Israel based on sensory organs and morphometry (Diptera: ceratopogonidae). Entomol Gen. 2012, 34 (1–2): 97-110.Google Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.