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Insecta: Diptera

Key To The Genera of CERATOPOGONIDAE

(Biting Midges, Punkies)

(Contact)

 

 

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Of the over 5,500 species and 104 genera of Ceratopogonidae there are only four genera that attack vertebrates (Leptoconops, Lasiohelea, Holoconops & Culicoides). However, of these four only Leptoconops and Culicoides are of medical importance to humans, primarily because of their annoying biting habits, which can trigger an allergic response of skin swelling and severe itching. The transmission of filarial worms by some species is confined to the African continent.

 

Members of this family are distinguished by a long antenna and short proboscis (Fig 1). Also, the wing membrane bears an array of tiny hairs (macrotrichia). Ornamentation with dark and pale areas is common.

 

The following key separates the four important genera:

 

 

1. A radiomedial cross vein is absent. The antennae of females have 13-14 segments, including the pedicel and small scape _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2

The radiomedial cross vein is present and the medial vein has two branches. Antennae of females have

15 segments, including the pedicel and scape (Fig. 2) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 3

 

2. The female antennae have 14 segments _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Leptoconops spp.

 

Female antennae have 13 segments _ _ Holoconops spp. (frequently not distinguished from Leptoconops)

 

3. The empodium is well developed and almost as long as the claws. The First radial cell is narrow and small. The second cell is long and narrow (occur in South America) _ _ __ _ Forcipomyia spp. (= Lasiohelea)

 

The empodium is small or vestigial. The claws are small and simple. There are 2 radial cells often present and a second branch of the radius ends pas the middle of the wing. Wings are quite often spotted (Fig 1) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Culicoides spp.

 

 

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Key References: <medvet.ref.htm> <Hexapoda>

 

Blanton, F. S. & W. W. Wirth. 1979. The sand flies (Culicoides) of Florida (Ceratopogonidae). Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring

Land Areas Volume 10. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Borkent, A. & W. W. Wirth. 1997. World species of biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Bull. American Museum of Natural History

233: 1257.

Clastrier, J. & W. W. Wirth. 1978. The Leptoconops kerteszi complex in North America (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). United States Department

of Agriculture Technical Bulletin Number 1573

Downes, J. A. & W. W. Wirth. 1981. Chapter 28: Ceratopogonidae. Pp. 393421. In: McAlpine, J.F., B.V. Peterson, G.E. Shewell, H.J. Teskey,

J.R. Vockeroth, and D.M. Wood. Manual of Nearctic Diptera, Volume 1. Agriculture Canada Monograph 27.

Hendry, G. 2003. Midges in Scotland 4th Edition, Mercat Press, Edinburgh.

Jobling, B. 1928. The structure of the head and the mouth parts of Culicoides pulicaris L. Bull. Ent. Res. 18: 211-36

Kettle, D. S. 1965. Biting certatopogonids as vectors of human and animal diseases. Acta Trop. 22: 356-62.

Kettle, D. S. 1969. The ecology and control of blood-sucking ceratopogonids. Ann. Rev. Ent. 22: 33-51.

Legner, E. F. 1995. Biological control of Diptera of medical and veterinary importance. J. Vector Ecology 20(1): 59-120.

Legner, E. F.. 2000. Biological control of aquatic Diptera. p. 847-870. Contributions to a Manual of Palaearctic Diptera, Vol. 1, Science

Herald, Budapest. 978 p

Legner, E. F., R. D. Sjogren & J. T. Wiles. 1970. Effects of low biuret urea on natural populations of Hippelates collusor (Townsend) and

Leptoconops kerteszi (Kieffer). J. Amer. Mosq. Contr. Assoc. 30(4): 634-640. 71.

Legner, E. F., R. D. Sjogren & L. L. Luna. 1980. Arthropod fauna cohabiting larval breeding sites of Leptoconops foulki Clastrier & Wirth

in the Santa Ana River, California. J. Amer. Mosq. Contr. Assoc. 40(1): 46-54. 192.

Linley, J. R., A. L. Hoch & F. P. Pinheiro. 1983. Biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) and human health. J. Med. Ent. 20: 347-64.

Mullen, G. R. and L.J. Hribar. 1988. Biology and feeding behavior of ceratopogonid larvae (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in North America.

Bulletin of the Society for Vector Ecology 13: 6081.

Mullens, B. A. and R. K. Velten. 1994. Rearing Culicoides variipennis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) on agar and nematodes. J. Med. Ent. 31: 175-

177.

Mullens, B. A. and R. K. Velten. 1994. Laboratory culture and life history of Heleidomermis magnapapula in its host, Culicoides variipennis

(Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). J. Nematol. 26: 1-10.

Matheson, R. 1950. Medical Entomology. Comstock Publ. Co, Inc. 610 p.

Paine, E. O. and B. A. Mullens. 1994. Distribution, seasonal occurrence, and patterns of parasitism of Heleidomermis magnapapula (Nematoda:

Mermithidae), a parasite of Culicoides variipennis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in California. Environ. Entomol. 23: 154-160.

Service, M. 2008. Medical Entomology For Students. Cambridge Univ. Press. 289 p

Wirth, W. W. & F. S. Blanton. 1974. The West Indian sandflies of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). United States Department

of Agriculture Technical Bulletin Number 1474.

Wirth, W. W. & W. L. Grogan, Jr. 1988. The Predaceous Midges of the World (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae; Tribe Ceratopogonini). Flora and

Fauna Handbook Number 4. E.J. Brill Publishers, Leiden. xv + 160 pp.