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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Electrophysiological Responses from Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) to Stimulation with Carbon Dioxide.

Authors
item Grant, Alan - AMERICAN BIOPHYSICS CORP.
item Kline, Daniel

Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 2002
Publication Date: January 1, 2003
Citation: GRANT, A.J., KLINE, D.L. ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES FROM CULICOIDES (DIPTERA: CERATOPOGONIDAE) TO STIMULATION WITH CARBON DIOXIDE.. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL ENTOMOLOGY. 2003. v.40. p.284-293.

Interpretive Summary: A major emphasis of current pest management research by scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, is the development of selective, environmentally friendly methods of control. This study was conducted in cooperation with an electrophysiologist from private industry to gain an understanding of how female biting midges locate potential hosts to obtain a blood meal. This paper summarizes our electrophysiological studies, which identified and characterized the sensory neurons on the mouthparts of female biting midges that respond to carbon dioxide, an important attractant produced by all potential hosts. Understanding how host released odors are detected by female biting midges may lead to the development of traps aimed at reducing populations of adult biting midges without using chemical insecticides.

Technical Abstract: Culicoides, minute blood-feeding flies in the family Ceratopogonidae, are known to inflict painful bites and transmit a variety of human and livestock diseases. Consequently, there is considerable interest in understanding how such biting insects locate a host for blood-feeding. It seems clear that olfactory cues play an important role in this behavior. In this study, we were interested in determining the adequate chemical stimuli for the sensilla located on the maxillary palps of female Culicoides. The basiconic sensilla of Culicoides share a general morphological similarity with the sensilla found on the maxillary palps of mosquitoes, which contain neurons sensitive to carbon dioxide (CO2), a known attractant in many biting insects. We report here electrophysiological studies that have identified and characterized the sensory neurons on Culicoides maxillary palps that respond to stimulation with low concentrations of CO2. In particular, we have established the concentration response function in different background concentrations of CO2 for C. furens, C. stellifer and C. mississippiensis. Comparisons are made with CO2-sensitive neurons in mosquitoes. Understanding what sensory signals the host releases and how they are detected, may lead to the development of strategies aimed at controlling this insect.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014