Tracking Community Timing: Pattern and Determinants of Seasonality in Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Northern Florida

Agustin I. Quaglia, Erik M. Blosser, Bethany L. McGregor, Alfred E. Runkel, Kristin E. Sloyer, Dinesh Erram, Samantha M. Wisely, Nathan D. Burkett-Cadena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Community dynamics are embedded in hierarchical spatial–temporal scales that connect environmental drivers with species assembly processes. Culicoides species are hematophagous arthropod vectors of orbiviruses that impact wild and domestic ruminants. A better sense of Culicoides dynamics over time is important because sympatric species can lengthen the seasonality of virus transmission. We tested a putative departure from the four seasons calendar in the phenology of Culicoides and the vector subassemblage in the Florida panhandle. Two years of weekly abundance data, temporal scales, persistence and environmental thresholds were analyzed using a tripartite Culicoides β-diversity based modeling approach. Culicoides phenology followed a two-season regime and was explained by stream flow and temperature, but not rainfall. Species richness fit a nested pattern where the species recruitment was maximized during spring months. Midges were active year-round, and two suspected vectors species, Culicoides venustus and Culicoides stellifer, were able to sustain and connect the seasonal modules. Persistence suggests that Orbivirus maintenance does not rely on overwintering and that viruses are maintained year-round, with the seasonal dynamics resembling subtropical Culicoides communities with temporal-overlapping between multivoltine species. Viewing Culicoides-borne orbiviruses as a time-sensitive community-based issue, our results help to recommend when management operations should be delivered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number931
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • BTV
  • Community ecology
  • Culicoides
  • EHDV
  • Orbivirus
  • Phenology
  • Time series multivariate analysis
  • Vector free period
  • Vector-borne disease ecology
  • Veterinary entomology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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