Veterinary World

     Open access and peer reviewed journal  

ISSN (Online): 2231-0916

ISSN (Print): 0972-8988


Home l Editorial board l Instructions for authors l Reviewer guideline l Open access policy l Archives l FAQ

Open Access

Copyright: The authors. This article is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

( which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

Research (Published online: 27-09-2014)

18. Prevalence, population dynamics and host preferences of Culicoides spp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) of livestock in Marathwada region of Maharashtra State - B. W. Narladkar and P. R. Shivpuje

Veterinary World, 7(9): 717-726



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2014.717-726



B. W. Narladkar: Department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Maharashtra Animal & Fishery

Sciences University, Parbhani, Maharashtra, India;

P. R. Shivpuje: Marathwada Agricultural University, Parbhani, Maharashtra, India;


Received: 24-05-2014, Revised: 31-07-2014, Accepted: 04-08-2014, Published online: 27-09-2014


Corresponding author: B. W. Narladkar, e-mail:

Aim: The present study is a part of a research project on integrated pest management of livestock pests with reference to Culicoides spp. Study of prevalence, population dynamics and host preferences are the important benchmarks essential for chalking out the strategies of integrated pest management of Culicoides, thus the study was aimed.

Materials and Methods: Light trap collections of Culicoides midges and other tiny flies from animal shed from seventeen centers representing entire Maharashtra state were conducted. Similarly, year round collections from host sheds were envisaged to work out host preferences and population dynamics of Culicoides spp. locally prevalent. Multiple regression analysis was employed to define the environmental predictors responsible for ups and downs during different seasons occurring in the geographic region of the present study.

Results: Study revealed the prevalence of Culicoides spp., Phlebotomus spp. and Simulium spp. Simultaneous study undertaken by the aid of hand net, collections of fly species from Marathwada region of Maharashtra state yielded additionally, Tabanus spp., Pangonia spp., mosquitoes and other cyclorrhaphan flies. Some of the species are vectors of livestock diseases hence map of the distribution of these pest species is for to reckon risk areas. Population dynamics study on Culicoides spp. in Marathwada region indicated that, (a) Culicoides population were persistent throughout the year; (b) Two peaks of population, one in the monsoon (August-September) and another minor peak occurred during post monsoon/beginning of winter (November) of the year. Drastic reduction in the population occurred during the month of May, which is the hottest month in the year. Culicoides collections from the sheds of different host species indicated the preferences for feeding in the ascending order of preference as cattle, sheep, buffaloes and then goats.

Conclusion: Prevalence of Culicoides schultzei, Culicoides peregrinus and Culicoides actoni was occurred in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra along with other haematophagus flies. Seasonal population dynamic studies depicted two peaks in the Culicoides population, and peak population observed during the monsoon season. Study on the parameters is essential for the preparation of prediction models and forecasting.

Keywords: Culicoides spp., host preferences, livestock, Marathwada, population dynamics.

1. Borkent, A. (2014) World species of biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Available from: Last accessed 18.7.2014
2. Borkent, A. (2014) The subgeneric classification of species of Culicoides - Thoughts and a warning. Available from: Last accessed 18.7.2014
3. Kettle, D.S. (1977) Biology and bionomics of bloodsucking ceratopogonids. Annu. Rev. Entomol., 22: 33-51.
4. Linley, J.R., Hoch, A.L. and Pinheiro, F.P (1983) Biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). J. Med. Entomol., 20(4): 347-364.
5. Mellor, P., Baylis, M. and Mertens, P. (2009) Bluetongue. Elsevier, Oxford, UK.
6. Hoffmann, B., Scheuch, M., Höper, D., Jungblut, R. and Holsteg, M. (2012) Novel orthobunyavirus in cattle, Europe, 2011. Emerg. Infect. Dis., 18: 469-472.
PMid:22376991 PMCid:PMC3309600
7. De Regge, N., Deblauwe, I., De Deken, R., Vantieghem, P., Madder, M., Geysen, D., Smeets, F., Losson, B., van den Berg, T., and Cay, A.B. (2012) Detection of Schmallenberg virus in different Culicoides spp. by real-time RT-PCR. Transbound. Emerg. Dis., 59(6): 471-475.
8. Hendry, G. and Godwin, G. (1988) Biting midges in Scottish forestry: A costly irritant or a trivial nuisance? Scot. Forest., 42: 113-119.
9. Ilango, K. (2006) Bluetongue virus outbreak in Tamil Nadu, Southern India: Need to study the Indian biting midge vectors, Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Curr. Sci. India., 90: 163-167.
10. Conraths, F., Peters, M. and Beer, M. (2013) Schmallenberg virus, a novel orthobunyavirus infection in ruminants in Europe: Potential global impact and preventive measures. N. Z. Vet. J., 61(2): 63-67.
11. Anonymous. (1994) In: C.J. Geden., and J.A. Hogsette, editors. Proceedings of Workshop on Research and Extension Needs for Integrated Pest Management for Arthropods of Veterinary Importance. Held at Lincoln, Nebraska from April, 12-14, 1994. Available from: Last accessed 15.7.2007
12. Baylis, M., el Hasnaoui, H., Bouayoune, H., Touti, J. and Mellor, P.S. (1997) The spatial and seasonal distribution of African horse sickness and its potential Culicoides vectors in Morocco. Med. Vet. Entomol., 11(3): 203-212.
13. Maryam, D., Moussa, F., Assane, G., Aliou, D., Momar, T.S., Garros, C., Balenghien, T., Allčne, X., Rakotoarivony, I., Lancelot, R., Mall, I., Bakhoum, M.T., Dosum, A.M., Ndao, M., Bouyer, J. and Guis, H. (2014) Seasonal dynamics of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midges, potential vectors of African horse sickness and Bluetongue viruses in the Niayes area of senegal. Parasite. Vector., 7: 147.
14. Carter, H.F., Ingram, A. and Macfie, J.W.C. (1920) Observations on the Ceratopogonidae midges of the Gold coast with description of new species, part-II. Ann. Trop. Med. Parasitol., 14: 211-274.
15. Sen, P. and Dasgupta, S.K. (1959) Stdies on Indian Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am., 52: 617-630.
16. Narladkar, B.W. (2012) In Project Report of a DBT New Delhi Financed Research Project on Development of Integrated Pest Management Module against Important Dipteran Pests of Livestock with Reference to Culicoides Midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) Accepted by DBT on 4th May, 2013.
17. Narladkar, B.W., Shastri, U.V. and Shivpuje, P.R. (1993) Studies on Culicoides spp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) prevalent in Marathwada region (Maharashtra) and their host preferences. Indian Vet. J., 70(2): 116-118.
18. Foster, N.M., Jones, R.H. and McCrocy, B.R. (1963) Preliminary investigation on insect transmission of blue tongue virus in sheep. Am. J. Vet. Res., 24: 1195-1200.
19. Luedke, A.J., Jones, R.H. and Jochim, M.M. (1967) Transmission of blue tongue between sheep and cattle by Culicoides variipennis. Am. J. Vet., Res., 28(123): 457-460.
20. Udupa, K.G. (2001) Culicoides spp (Diptera: Ceratopogonodae) associated with livestock and their relevance to blue tongue infection in Tamilnadu. Ph.D Thesis Tamilnadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai.
21. Bhoyar, R., Udupa, K.G., Thimmareddy, P.M., Kasralikar, V.R. and Madhav Prasad C.B. (2012) Climatological factors associated with abundance of Culicoides midges. J.Vet. Parasitol., 26:148-150.
22. Patton, W.S. (1910) Culicoides kiefferi, n. sp: A new Indian blood-sucking midge. Indian J. Med. Res., 1: 336-338.
23. Patel, P.G. (1921) Notes on the life history of Culicoides oxystoma with some remarks on the early stages of ceratopogonidae. Report 4th Entomological Meeting, Pusa. p172-178.
24. Patton, W.S. and Evans, A.M. (1929) In: Insects, Ticks, Mites and Venomous Animals of Medical and Veterinary Importance. Part I. Medical. H.R.Grub, England. p696.
25. Smith, R.A.O. (1929) Two species of Culicoides which fed on man. Indian J. Med. Res., 17: 255-257.
26. Smith, R.A.O. and Swaminathan, C.S. (1932) Notes on some Culicoides from Assam. Indian Med. Res. Mem., 25: 182-186.
27. Sen, S.K. and Fletcher, T.B. (1962) In: Veterinary Entomology and Acarology for India. 1st ed. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi. p98-120.
28. Dasgupta, S.K. (1961) Studies on the incidence of some Indian Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Indian Agric., 5: 189-206.
29. Dasgupta, S.K. (1962) Some Culicoides of Calcutta and the neighbouring areas. Sci. Cult., 28: 537-539.
30. Dasgupta, S.K. (1963) Report on collection of Culicoides. Bull. Entomol., 4: 38-40.
31. Dasgupa, S.K. (1963) Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from suburbs of Calcutta. Entomol. Mon. Mag., 98: 253-254.
32. Dastupta, S.K. and Ghosh, S.M. (1961) Report on biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) with additional notes on a few spp. Bull. Calcutta. Sch. Trop. Med., 9: 117-119.
33. Anantraman, M. (1965) Various aspects of protozoon, helminths and arthropod parasitism. Madras. Vet. Coll. Annu., 23: 78-79.
34. Wirth, W.W., Choudhuri, P.P. and Dasgupta, S.K. (1985) Descriptive notes and new Asian distribution in the Chaetophthalmus group of the blood sucking midge genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Orient. Insects., 19: 103-109.
35. Narladkar, B.W. and Patil, V.G. (2012) Observations on breeding sites and seasonal dynamics of Tabanus rufofrater in Marathwada region. J. Vet. Parasitol., 26(2): 134-136.
36. Veer, V. (2004) Tabanidae flies (Diptera) from the Indian subregion. Ann. Forest., 12(2): 301-447.
37. Mitra, B., Banerjee, D. and Roy, S. (2007) A check-list of tabanid flies (Tabanidae: Diptera) of the Eastern Himalayas, India. J. Adv. Zool. 28(2): 55-66.
38. Tilibaşa, E. M. and Darabus, G. (2014) Preliminary studies on dynamics of Culicoides spp. In western Romania in conjunction with some environmental factors. Parasit. Vector., 7 Suppl 1: 07.
39. Zimmer, J.Y., Smeets, F., Simonon, G., Fagot, J., and Haubruge, E. (2013) Are bogs reservoirs for emerging disease vectors? Evaluation of Culicoides populations in the hautes fagnes nature reserve (Belgium). PLoS ONE., 8(6): e66893.
PMid:23799137 PMCid:PMC3682963
40. Griffioen, K., van Gemst, D.B., Pieterse, M.C., Jacobs, F. and Sloet van Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan, M.M. (2011) Culicoides species associated with sheep in the Netherlands and the effect of a permethrin insecticide. Vet. J. 190(2): 230-235.
41. Clausen, P.H., Stephan, A., Bartsch, S., Jandowsky, A., Hoffmann-Kohler, P., Schein, E., Mehlitz, D. and Bauer, B. (2009) Seasonal dynamics of biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae, Culicoides spp.) on dairy farms of Central Germany during the 2007/2008 epidemic of bluetongue. Parasitol. Res., 10: 381-386.
42. Szmaragd, C., Wilson, A.J., Carpenter, S., Wood, J.L. and Mellor, P.S. (2009) A modeling framework to describe the transmission of Bluetongue virus within and between farms in Great Britain. PLoS One., 4: E7741.
PMid:19890400 PMCid:PMC2767512
43. Souza Monteiro, D.M., Carrasco, L.R., Moffitt, L.J. and Cook, A.J. (2012) Robust surveillance of animal diseases: An application to the detection of bluetongue disease. Prev. Vet. Med., 105(1-3): 17-24.
44. Maclachlan, N.J. and Mayo, C.E. (2013) Potential strategies for control of Bluetongue, a globally emerging, Culicoides-transmitted viral disease of ruminant livestock and wildlife. Antivir. Res., 99(2): 79-90.
45. Mayo, C.E., Osborne, C.J., Mullens, B.A., Gerry, A.C. and Gardner, I.A. (2014) Seasonal variation and impact of waste-water lagoons as larval habitat on the population dynamics of Culicoides sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratpogonidae) at two dairy farms in Northern California. PLoS One., 9(2): e89633.
PMid:24586925 PMCid:PMC3931813
46. Narladkar, B.W., Shastri, U.V. and Shivpuje, P.R. (1993) Seasonal prevalence of Culicoides spp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Marathwada region. Indian J. Anim. Sci., 63: 1140-1145.
47. Narladkar, B.W., Deshpande, P.D., Shivpuje, P.R. and Sondge, V.D. (2006) Population dynamics of Culicoides sp of domesticated animals of Marathwada region. J. Vet. Parasitol., 20: 171-174.
48. Thompson, M.C. and Connor, S.J. (2000) Enviroment information systems for the control of arthropod vectors of disease. Med. Vet. Entomol., 14(3): 227-244.
49. Baylis, M., Bouayoune, H., Touti, J. and Hasnaouni, H. (1998) Use of climatic data and satellite imagery to model the abundance of Culicoides imicola, the vector of African horse sickness virus, in Morocco. Med. Vet. Entomol., 12(3): 255-266.
50. Baylis, M. and Rawlings, P. (1998) Modeling the distribution and abundance of Culicoides imicola in Morocco and Iberia using climatic data and satellite imagery. In: Mellor, P.S., Baylis, M., Hablin, C. and Calisher, C.H. editors. African Horse Sickners. p137-153. (CAB Abstracts).
51. Sellers, R.F. (1991) Weather, Culicoides and the distribution and spread of Blue tongue and African horse sickness viruses. In: Watton, T.E. and Osburn, B.I., editors. Blue Tongue, African Horse Sickeness and Related Orbiviruses. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium, 17-21 June, 1991, Paris. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. p284-290.
52. Ayllón, T., Ard, M.N., Wiebke, W., Burkhard, B., Xavier, A. and Peter-Henning Clausen, P.H. (2014) Feeding behaviour of Culicoides spp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) on cattle and sheep in northeast Germany. Parasit. Vector., 7: 34.
PMid:24438698 PMCid:PMC3896851
53. Jones, R.H., Luedke, A.J., Walton, T.E. and Metcalf, H.E. (1981) Bluetongue in the United States; an entomological perspective toward control. World Anim. Rev., 38: 2-8.
54. Braverman, Y., Frish, K., Reis, M. and Mumcuoglu, K.Y. (2012) Host preference of Culicoides spp from Israel based on sensory organs and morphometry (Diptera:ceratopogonidae). Entomol. Gen., 34: 97-110.
55. Garros, C., Gardes, L., Allene, X., Rakotoarivony, I., Viennet, E., Rossi, S. and Balenghien, T. (2011) Adaptation of a species-specific multiplex PCR assay for the identification of blood meal source in Culicoides (Ceratopogonidae:Diptera): applications on midge species, vectors of Orbiviruses. Infect. Genet. Evol., 11(5): 1103-1110.
56. Bartsch, S., Bauer, B., Wiemann, A., Clausen, P.H. and Steuber, S. (2009) Feeding patterns of biting midges of the Culicoides obsoletus and Culicoides pulicaris groups on selected farms in Brandenburg, Germany. Parasitol. Res., 105(2): 373-380.