Monday, December 10, 2007 - 10:17 AM

Blood-meal analyses, seasonality, and vector potential of biting flies in zoos of South Carolina

Mark P. Nelder, mnelder@clemson.edu1, Peter H. Adler1, Matt W. Turnbull, n/a1, Bill Wills, n/a1, Art Wozniak2, and Chris L. Evans, n/a2. (1) Clemson University, Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences, 114 Long Hall, Clemson, SC, (2) South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Bureau of Laboratories, 8231 Parklane Rd, Columbia, SC

Using a suite of trapping techniques, biting flies were collected at the Riverbanks Zoo (Columbia, SC) and the Greenville Zoo (Greenville, SC) for three consecutive years. The most frequently collected biting flies were mosquitoes (Culicidae) followed by biting midges (Ceratopogonidae), biting muscids (Muscidae), black flies (Simuliidae), and deer flies (Tabanidae). Flies were tested for the presence of several arboviruses, bacterial pathogens, and protozoan pathogens. Blood meals were identified in blood-fed flies using molecular assays with a vertebrate-specific primer pair targeting a portion of the cytochrome b gene. We found that Aedes albopictus (Skuse) feeds on wallabies, gorillas, orangutans, several monkey species, humans, and horses. The biting midge Culicoides guttipennis (Coquillett) was associated with a colobus monkey and a golden-headed lion tamarin. Aspects of biting fly host specificity, phenology, and vector management within zoological gardens are discussed.

Species 1: Diptera Culicidae Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito)
Species 2: Diptera Ceratopogonidae Culicoides spp
Species 3: Diptera Simuliidae