Culicoides biting midges are medically important haematophagous flies that transmit diseases to animals and humans. This work deals with the basic ecology of Culicoides populations in northeastern Brazil. Adult biting midge populations in and around urban and rural communities were sampled monthly from September 2007 to October 2008 with light traps. In total, 10,803 Culicoides midges representing 17 species were collected. The most frequently collected species were Culicoides paucienfuscatus (83%), Culicoides leopoldoi (12%), Culicoides insignis (2%), and Culicoides paraensis (1%). Trap catches and species diversity were highest in chicken shelters at both urban and rural sites, followed by pigsties. The Culicoides fauna is composed chiefly of species broadly distributed in the Neotropics. Domestic animals are important factors for attracting and maintaining biting midge populations in peridomiciliary areas, especially C. paucienfuscatus. Further work is needed to better understand abiotic and biotic factors affecting Culicoides populations of northeastern Brazil.
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