The flight behavior of adult Culicoides biting midges is associated with their likelihood of reaching nearby host animals and of spreading diseases. Therefore, evaluating the effects of atmospheric factors on the flight performance of these insects is important for understanding the spread of diseases in various circumstances. We evaluated the effects of different temperatures on the flight behavior of Culicoides oxystoma and Culicoides maculatus by developing a special apparatus. The flight activities for both species particularly increased in the temperature range between 10°C and 20°C, while the activities under 10°C were very limited for both species. By fitting sigmoid curves, we estimated the temperature when 50% of insects had flown to be 18.1°C for C. oxystoma and slightly higher than 17.4°C for C. maculatus. The flight behavior of adult Culicoides biting midges was highly influenced by temperature. Our results would be of use for modeling studies or geographical analyses of diseases transmitted by these insects.
(Epidemiological Research Team)
Tsutsui T. et al. (2011) Parasitology Research, 108 (6): 1575-1578