Collection of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) using CO2 and enantiomers of 1-octen-3-ol in the United Kingdom

The host kairomones carbon dioxide (CO2) and 1-octen-3-ol elicit a host seeking response in a wide range of haematophagous Diptera. This study investigates the response of Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) to these cues using field-based experiments at two sites in the United Kingdom with very different species complements. Traps used for surveillance (miniature CDC model 512) and control (Mosquito Magnet Pro) were modified to release ratios of (R)- and (S)-1-octen-3-ol enantiomers in combination with CO, and, in the case of the latter trap type, a thermal cue. Abundance and species diversity were then compared between these treatments and against collections made using a trap with a CO, lure only, in a Latin square design. In both habitats, results demonstrated that semiochemical lures containing a high proportion of the (R)-enantiomer consistently attracted a greater abundance of host-seeking Culicoides females than any other treatment. Culicoides collected using an optimal stimulus of 500 ml/min CO2 combined with 4.1 mg/h (R)-1-octen-3-ol were then compared with those collected on sheep through the use of a drop trap. While preliminary in nature, this trial indicated Culicoides species complements are similar between collections made using the drop trap in comparison to the semiochemical-baited CDC trap, and that there are advantages in using (R)-1-octen-3-ol.

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