Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Information on identifying breeding sites of C. imicola & on establishing lab colonies of C. imicola has been acquired

C. imicola is the major vector of BT V in southern Europe and Africa. Its breeding sites can now be broadly classified according to soil type, pH and carbon percentage. However, no correlation between any of these characteristics and abundance was detected. Moisture content and the speed with which a location dries are the controlling factors. It is suggested that C. imicola occupies temporary breeding sites that are peripatetic within the suitable areas according to moisture content and drying rate.

In relation to colonisation of C. imicola, a protocol has been established whereby adult midges can be collected from the wild and induced to blood feed in the laboratory. A larval breeding medium has been developed that has allowed larvae from eggs laid in the laboratory to be raised to pupae and then to adults. The adult midges deriving from these pupae have also been induced to blood feed in the laboratory and then to lay eggs but so far the numbers of colony midges have been insufficient to establish a permanent colony.

The existence of laboratory colonies of vector species of Culicoides allows experiments involving all aspects of virus-vector interactions to be carried out throughout the year (even in the winter) and in countries where wild vector populations are absent, difficult to acquire and manipulate, or unknown.

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South Africa
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