An artificial larval medium for colonized Culicoides guttipennis (coguillett) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)
An artificial larval medium for colonized Culicoides guttipennis was developed. Microorganisms in decaying leaf matter were present in the original laboratory diet. These were believed to be the main food of C. guttipennis larvae. This was verified by sterilizing the leaf matter to kill the organisms present. Larvae did not develop beyond the first instar in this medium, but adults were produced from non-sterilized leaf matter.
The objective was to develop cultures of various microorganisms and find one that would be best for rearing C. guttipennis larvae in producing more adults. A simple hay-infusion medium inoculated with stump-hole microorganisms was found more effective than all other cultures screened in rearing the larvae. This culture consisted of stump-hole microorganisms inoculated fresh each week from stored stumphole contents. It was compared with the same culture containing stumphole microorganisms completely adapted to a laboratory environment. The former was better in rearing C. guttipennis larvae. A final experiment evaluated the incorporation of vermiculite as an artificial substrate. This proved successful in rearing larvae and producing large numbers of adults. This culture was superior over the larval rearing medium of decaying leaf matter.
Development of a successful artificial larval medium for colonized C. guttipennis will aid in establishing other laboratory colonies of related Culicoides species.