C. ornatus - the serious pest midge
Midges have been a minor nuisance in Brisbane with occasional periods of activity from a day-biting species that breeds in leaf litter and plant residue.
However, in October 2004 the serious marine pest, Culicoides ornatus, (C. ornatus) was found along tidal creeks in a number of Brisbane’s western suburbs. Since then, the number of known locations in Brisbane has slowly increased.
There is still much to be learnt about the biology of C. ornatus, especially in Brisbane. Based on studies in Darwin and Hervey Bay, we know the adult biting midge:
- will travel up to two kilometres from its breeding site
- is known to move up ridges to high ground
- is active around dawn and dusk
- is most active during spring and autumn but, is also active during summer
- is most noticeable around the full and new moon during this period
- its larvae are associated with tidal margins of rivers and creeks