KRISTAL DALE F. CORPUZ – #6536448
In general, flies are part of the Class Insecta and Order Diptera which is a paraphyletic grouping of the most primitive flies characterized by having three body regions (head, thorax, abdomen), three pairs of legs, typically two functional wings, and one pair of antennae with more antennal segments than the other orders. Some flies can transmit a pathogen that can potentially cause a disease in animals or human which includes the biting midges (Family Ceratopogonidae, Genus Culicoides). Biting midges undergo complete metamorphosis from adult laying eggs to larva to pupa and finally an adult again. The adult biting midges’ distinguishing features are: small (2-5 mm) and dark, long filamentous antenna with 15 segments, hooped thorax with humeral pits and bears a pair of spotted or broad mottled wings without scales, lacks proboscis which set them apart from mosquitoes but mouthpart is composed of three pairs of cutting and slashing elements that causes wound. Only the female adult takes a blood-meal necessary for the maturation of eggs, while both male and female feed on nectar, and biting behavior is usually observed during dusk or dawn often in swarms in nearby water. Aside from the biting nuisance and stress, various Culicoides species have been documented to be vectors of different pathogens: Mansonella spp. (Mansonellosis), Orbiviruses, bluetongue virus (BTV), epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), African horse sickness virus (AHSV), Orthobunyaviruses, Oropouche virus (OROV), Akabane virus (AKAV), Schmallenberg virus (SBV), bovine ephemeral fever, Plasmodium agamae, and Leucocytozoon. Culicoides transmit pathogens when adult female takes infected blood-meal, and after laying eggs will be ready to feed again which could involve transmission of the pathogenic organism in the animal or human host.