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Evaluation of the monitoring programme of populations of the bluetongue vectors Culicoides imicola Kieffer, 1913 and Culicoides obsoletus complex Meigen, 1818 (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Spain

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Authors: C. Calvete, R. Estrada, M.A. Miranda, R. Del Rio, D. Borrás, L. Garrido, B. Muñoz, L.J. Romero, J. Lucientes
Issue: 105-3 (147-160)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: Bluetongue, Culicoides, entomological surveillance, Spain

Bluetongue is a viral disease that is mainly transmitted among their vertebrate hosts (mainly ruminants) by several species of biting midges of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Currently, bluetongue is still spreading across peninsular Spain where the main vector species incriminated in viral transmission are Culicoides imicola and species of the C. obsoletus complex. A national surveillance programme was started in 2004 to monitor bluetongue vector populations at weekly intervals. In the present work, the performances and design of the monitoring sampling are revised. Monitoring area, comprising peninsular Spain and Balearic Islands, was divided in two strata on the basis on biological (population dynamics of both vector species) and geographical (provincial and regional boundaries) criteria. Estimated patterns of population variability for both Culicoides species at national scale were similar to patterns reported in previous works at local or regional scale. Using the Taylor’s power law, the precision level currently reached by the monitoring programme ranged from 0.21 to 0.12, however, precision levels ranging from 0.25 to 0.35, which are considered an amount of variation that would still allow biologically significant abundance differences to be apparent, would be reached by, approximately, halving the current sampling effort.

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