Host Preference of Culicoides spp from Israel Based on Sensory Organs and Morphometry (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)
Braverman, Yehuda; Frish, Karl; Reis, Moshe; Mumcuoglu, Kosta Y
Host preference determines which host will be bitten and therefore potentially be infected with vectored pathogenic microorganisms by hematophagous arthropods such as Culicoides. In Israel, the feeding behavior of 8 out of 60 Culicoides species was confirmed by using the precipitin tests. In the present study several morphometric parameters, which characterize bird and mammal feeders were used. By means of the number of antennomer bearing sensilla coeloconica, the following fourteen probable mammal feeders could be detected: Culicoides derisor, Culicoides fagineus, Culicoides fascipennis, Culicoides imicola, Culicoides montanus, Culicoides newsteadi, Culicoides obsoletus, Culicoides pulicaris, Culicoides punctatus, Culicoides puncticollis, Culicoides schultzei group, Culicoides shaklawensis, Culicoides pallidicornis, and Culicoides vitreipennis. In addition, the following eighteen probable bird feeders were identified: Culicoides begueti, Culicoides brunnicans, Culicoides cataneii, Culicoides circumscriptus, Culicoides kibunensis, Culicoides distinctipennis, Culicoides gejgelensis, Culicoides haranti, Culicoides indistinctus, Culicoides odiatus, Culicoides maritimus, Culicoides festivipennis, Culicoides pseudopallidus, Culicoides griseidorsum, Culicoides sejfadinei, Culicoides simulator and Culicoides univittatus. The probable bird feeders possessed a significantly larger third palpal segment. The values of the antennal ratio in probable feeders on birds were significantly higher than those in probable mammal feeders. The number of bulb-shaped sensilla in the pit of the third palpal segment was found unreliable for determining host groups.