Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2009
Publication Date: January 1, 2010
Citation: Logan, J.G., Cook, J.I., Mordue (Luntz), A.J., Kline, D.L. 2010. Understanding and exploiting olfaction for the surveillance and control of Culicoides biting midges. In: Takken, W. and Knols, B.G.J. editors. Ecology and control of vector borne diseases, Vol. 2. Wageningen, Netherlands. Wageningen Academic Publishers. Chapter 10, pp. 217-246.
Culicoides midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are found worldwide with the exception of only a few countries including New Zealand, Patagonia, the Hawaiian Isles and Antarctica. They are a nuisance pest to human beings, but transmit a number of diseases that mainly affect livestock. Like many haematophagous insects, midges have evolved highly developed and sensitive olfactory mechanisms which allow them to locate a potential mate or a suitable vertebrate host. This chapter provides a brief overview of the Culicoides midge life cycle, its status as a vector of disease and offers an extensive review of Culicoides chemical ecology research, which has led to the identification of semiochemicals that could be exploited to control them. Host location processes can be influenced by many factors including midge physiology, host kairomones, the complex interactions of other volatile chemicals that confer differential attractiveness of hosts and also physical cues such as light levels and climatic conditions. These factors are considered in detail and future areas of work are discussed.