Medical and Veterinary Entomology (2003) 17, 388-394

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C. De Liberato, B.V. Purse, M. Goffredo, F. Scholl and P. Scaramozzino (2003)
Geographical and seasonal distribution of the bluetongue virus vector, Culicoides imicola, in central Italy
Medical and Veterinary Entomology 17 (4), 388-394
Abstract: Following the first incursion of bluetongue virus (BTV) into Italy, the geographical and seasonal distribution of the biting midge Culicoides imicola Kieffer (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), the main vector of BTV and African horse sickness virus, was investigated in two regions of central Italy (Lazio and Tuscany). Surveillance of Culicoides was carried out between July 2001 and December 2002 using light traps: 1917 collections were made in 381 trap sites, well distributed across both regions. During the survey, bluetongue outbreaks were recorded in both regions. Culicoides imicola was found in 89 (23%) trap sites, distributed fairly continuously along the whole western coastline, between 41.2697° N and 44.05724° N. It was found only occasionally inland and usually in low abundance, with catches of more than 1000 specimens per night found in only two sample sites and 74% of catches numbering fewer than 10 specimens. Adults were caught from March to mid December, with peaks ranging from the end of August to mid November. The coastal distribution and the presence of only few sites with year-round records of adult vectors suggests that colonization may have occurred recently, by passive wind-dispersal from external source areas (Sardinia and Corsica). Alternatively, the species may occur in established, previously undetected, autochthonous populations that are limited from extension inland and northern-ward within Lazio and Tuscany by cool winter temperatures.
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Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Paola Scaramozzino, Bethan Purse

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Culicoides imicola Italy