Culicoides spp

From Cow

Culicoides are a parasitic hematophagous midge[1] which causes skin disease as well as transmitting disease in cattle worldwide[2].

Culicoides spp (f. Ceratopogondiae) live in aquatic environments and feed on cattle, causing intense pruritus as well as transmitting Onchocerca cervicalis, bluetongue[3], haemorrhagic syndrome[4], Akabane and Aino viruses[5].

Species of Culicoides which have been recognised as disease causing in cattle include:

  • C. brevitarsus[6]
  • C. sonorensis[7]
  • C. obsoletus
  • C. grisescens[8]
  • C. chiopterus
  • C. pulicaris
  • C. impunctatus[9]
  • C. deltus
  • C. punctatus

Topical insecticides such as pyrethrins (eg, cypermethrin or cyfluthrin) help control these parasites.


  1. Mayo CE et al (2012) Anthropogenic and meteorological factors influence vector abundance and prevalence of bluetongue virus infection of dairy cattle in California. Vet Microbiol 155(2-4):158-164
  2. Merck Vet Manual
  3. Boyle DB et al (2012) Genomic sequences of Australian bluetongue virus prototype serotypes reveal global relationships and possible routes of entry into Australia. J Virol 86(12):6724-6731
  4. Savini G et al (2011) Epizootic heamorragic disease. Res Vet Sci 91(1):1-17
  5. Viennet E et al (2011) Assessment of vector/host contact: comparison of animal-baited traps and UV-light/suction trap for collecting Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), vectors of Orbiviruses. Parasit Vectors 4:119
  6. Yanase T et al (2011) Detection of Culicoides brevitarsis activity in Kyushu. J Vet Med Sci 73(12):1649-1652
  7. Mayo CE et al (2012) The combination of abundance and infection rates of Culicoides sonorensis estimates risk of subsequent bluetongue virus infection of sentinel cattle on California dairy farms. Vet Parasitol 187(1-2):295-301
  8. Ander M et al (2012) Seasonal dynamics of biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae: Culicoides), the potential vectors of bluetongue virus, in Sweden. Vet Parasitol 184(1):59-67
  9. Purse BV et al (2012) Impacts of climate, host and landscape factors on Culicoides species in Scotland. Med Vet Entomol 26(2):168-77