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Sugar-feeding behaviour and longevity of European Culicoides biting midges


Kaufmann, C; Mathis, A; Vorburger, C (2015). Sugar-feeding behaviour and longevity of European Culicoides biting midges. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 29(1):17-25.

Abstract

Most haematophagous insect vectors can also use sugar as an energy source; thus their sugar-feeding behaviour influences their longevity and blood-feeding rate and hence their vectorial capacity. Scant information is available on the sugar-feeding behaviour of Culicoides Latreille biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), which are vectors of bluetongue and Schmallenberg viruses. The longevity of laboratory-reared Culicoides nubeculosus (Meigen) under fluctuating temperatures (16 and 28 °C) and with access to water or water and blood was on average 6.4 days and 8.9 days, respectively, which was around one third of the lifespan of siblings with access to sugar or sugar and blood (22.2 days and 27.1 days, respectively). Access to honeydew significantly increased the midge's longevity, whereas the provision of extrafloral nectaries had no impact. Females with access to sugar produced a significantly higher number of eggs (65.5 ± 5.2) than their starved sisters (45.4 ± 8.4). More than 80% of field-caught female Culicoides from the two most abundant European groups, Obsoletus (n = 2243) and Pulicaris (n = 805), were fructose-positive. Fructose-positivity was high in all physiological stages and no seasonal variability was noted. The high rate of natural sugar feeding of Culicoides offers opportunities for the development of novel control strategies using toxic sugar baits and for the monitoring of vector-borne diseases using sugar-treated FTA (nucleic acid preservation) cards in the field.

Abstract

Most haematophagous insect vectors can also use sugar as an energy source; thus their sugar-feeding behaviour influences their longevity and blood-feeding rate and hence their vectorial capacity. Scant information is available on the sugar-feeding behaviour of Culicoides Latreille biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), which are vectors of bluetongue and Schmallenberg viruses. The longevity of laboratory-reared Culicoides nubeculosus (Meigen) under fluctuating temperatures (16 and 28 °C) and with access to water or water and blood was on average 6.4 days and 8.9 days, respectively, which was around one third of the lifespan of siblings with access to sugar or sugar and blood (22.2 days and 27.1 days, respectively). Access to honeydew significantly increased the midge's longevity, whereas the provision of extrafloral nectaries had no impact. Females with access to sugar produced a significantly higher number of eggs (65.5 ± 5.2) than their starved sisters (45.4 ± 8.4). More than 80% of field-caught female Culicoides from the two most abundant European groups, Obsoletus (n = 2243) and Pulicaris (n = 805), were fructose-positive. Fructose-positivity was high in all physiological stages and no seasonal variability was noted. The high rate of natural sugar feeding of Culicoides offers opportunities for the development of novel control strategies using toxic sugar baits and for the monitoring of vector-borne diseases using sugar-treated FTA (nucleic acid preservation) cards in the field.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:05 Feb 2016 09:23
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 17:43
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0269-283X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/mve.12086
PubMed ID:25155520

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