Culicoides obsoletus (Meigen), 1818

  • C. varius  (Winnertz), 1852
  • C. yezoensis  (Matsumura), 1911
  • C. obscuripes  Santos Abreu, 1918
  • C. lacteinervis  Kieffer, 1919
  • C. rivicola  Kieffer, 1921
  • C. clavatus  Kieffer, 1921
  • C. heterocerus  Kieffer, 1921
  • C. pegobius  Kieffer, 1922
  • C. kabyliensis  Kieffer, 1922
  • C. concitus  Kieffer, 1922
  • C. intermedius  Okada, 1941
    preoccupied by Dasyhelea intermedia (Santos Abreu), 1918
  • C. sintrensis  Cambournac, 1956
  • C. seimi  Shevchenko, 1967

General information for the taxon Biogeographic region where the taxon is recorded : Palaearctic

Wings are vaguely marked with the second radial cell pale. It is easily distinguished by the form of the male genitalia, in particular the deeply cleft (but not completely divided) ninth sternite. The females of C. obsoletus and C. scoticus are very difficult to distinguish reliably. Both sexes are very similar to C. montanus.
female diagnose :
wing with pale spots relatively marked. pale spots distally present in r5, m1, m2 and m4 cells.
presence of two functional spermathecae with subequal size and 1 rudimentary spermatheca. presence of sclerotized ring.

male diagnose :
hypopygium without postlateral processes. Aedeagus characterized by shape of horseshoe. Ninth sternite with inferior margin partially divided, inferior margin shaped as a drop.

C. obsoletus and C. scoticus are found in association with various breeds of livestock. Both species are widely distributed in Western Europe and usually abundant. C. obsoletus midges have been found emerging from manure left outside the farm buildings, but also from indoor samples. Zimmer et al (2010) found that dried dung adhering to walls inside animal enclosures and used animal litter was a breeding site for the C. obsoletus/scoticus complex. They also observed that C. obsoletus/scoticus complex midges were more prevalent in soil samples with a high carbon:nitrogen (C:N) index; this index indicates the amount of organic matter in soil. Viennet et al (2012) did not identified preferential landing sites for C. obsoletus (horse used as baits) whereas Townley et al. (1984) found most of C. obsoletus landing and feeding on upper parts of horse, Overgaard Nielsen (1971) on belly of heifers and Viennet et al. (2011) on lower parts of sheep. Culicoides obsoletus is able to enter into buildings. The outdoor/indoor ratio of C. obsoletus abundance was higher in summer than in spring and autumn, and was dependent on the building opening. Culicoides obsoletus was active before sunset in spring and autumn and after sunset in summer.

Implications as vector species
Culicoides obsoletus is suspected to play a significant role in the spread of BTV. Together with C. scoticus, they are abundant in BTV-infected areas and virus has been isolated from specimens belonging to these two species. Furthermore, in laboratory studies, the Obsoletus group has proven orally susceptible for BTV 8 and 9 (Carpenter et al. 2008).

  family Ceratopogonidae
Important bibliographic reference(s)
Specimen(s) present in collection (2)
AVAbase ID Country of collection Voucher Sequence(s) Status Sample(s) Picture(s) Number
AVA1 France In collection Single individual
AVA6 France In collection Single individual

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Distribution map for specimen(s) present in collection