A SCIMSU researcher found a new Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midge species from Mahasarakham Province, Thailand.

Professor Dr Pairot Pramual, a researcher from the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahasarakham University, and his team published a paper in the Acta Tropica journal in 2021 entitled “Integrative taxonomy uncovers a new Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midge species from Thailand,” supported by Thailand Science Research and Innovation (TSRI) and Mahasarakham University.

Researchers explored the diversity of biting midges of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Thailand and found a new species of the world’s genus Culicoides. It was found for the very first time at Ban Wai, Na Si Nuan Subdistrict, Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham Province. The species name, therefore, refers to the Maha Sarakham province where this new species was collected, namely, Culicoides mahasarakhamense Pramual, Jomkumsing, Piraonapicha, Jumpato, 2021

This species is found in many areas in Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Roi Et, and Sisaket provinces. The study of the biting habit revealed that C. mahasarakhamense sp. nov. bites the native chickens. It has also been found that they may be carriers of pathogens that cause “avian malaria,” such as Leucocytozoon sp., Plasmodium juxtanucleare, and P. gallinaceum.

Fig. 1. Culicoides mahasarakhamense sp. nov., lateral view, A. female.
Scale bars: 0.5 mm.
Fig. 2. Culicoides mahasarakhamense sp. nov., lateral view, B. male.
Scale bars: 0.5 mm.
Fig. 3. Adult male ninth tergum showing paramere (ventral view) of (A) Culicoides mahasarakhamense sp. nov. and (B) Culicoides nr. arakawae.
Scale bars = 0.05 mm.
Fig. 4. Culicoides mahasarakhamense sp. nov., A. head in frontal view; B. male thorax in dorsal view; C. wing of male; D. palpus of female; E. antenna of female; F. foreleg; G. midleg; H. hindleg; I. spermatheca; J. male genitalia in ventral view; K. aedeagus in ventral view; L. parameres in ventral view.
Scale bars: 0.2 mm (A-C, E, F – H); 0.1 mm (D, I, J); 0.05 mm (K, L).

Pramual, P., Jomkumsing, P., Piraonapicha, K., & Jumpato, W. (2021). Integrative taxonomy uncovers a new Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midge species from Thailand. Acta Tropica, 220, 105941. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2021.105941