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.
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).
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