Research Collections of the Zoological Institute RAS — Biting Midges (Ceratopogonidae)

Русский / English

The collection of Ceratopogonidae in the Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences (St Petersburg), is one of the largest collections of this practically important family of Diptera. The collection is kept at the Laboratory of Parasitic Arthropods of the Zoological Institute.

It is unique as the richest collection of bloodsucking biting midges of the Holarctic Region, in the first place, of the largest and practically important genus Culicoides. The collection includes type specimens of the vast majority of species described in this genus from the territory of the former Soviet Union. In addition, the material of larvae and pupae associated with the reared adults of biting midges is of high scientific value. This material is unique in the number of specimens and taxa; it has been collected by Prof. V.M. Glukhova and her students.

In total, the collection contains several millions of Ceratopogonidae specimens in more than 400 species. The collection consists of the following main parts:

  1. slide-mounted adults, larvae and pupae (about 30000 slides, mostly in Canada balsam);
  2. dry mounted adults (pinned, micropinned or glued on pinned cards; about 5000 specimens);
  3. the material in vials: adults, larvae and pupae in ethanol, as well as dry adults (about 22000 vials, some millions of specimens).

The collection includes the type specimens of more than 100 species described by 34 authors. Among them are the experts in the taxonomy of Ceratopogonidae, such as M. Goetghebuer, A.V. Gutsevich, V.M. Glukhova, W. Wirth, Sh.M. Dzhafarov, A.G. Mirzaeva, Zh.S. Smatov, H. Remm, A.K. Shevchenko. The species represented by the type specimens mostly belong to the genus Culicoides. The type specimens of most species are slide-mounted in Canada balsam.

The earliest specimens in the collection came from the XIX century collections of E.F. Eversmann and F. Kowarz, which were acquired by the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the early XX century. The basis of the modern collection was created by A.V. Gutsevich and V.M. Glukhova, who were the world-recognized experts on biting midges and the authors of the volumes on Ceratopogonidae in the series «The fauna of the USSR». In addition to the material collected by Gutsevich and Glukhova, the Zoological Institute got the large valuable materials from I.S. Amossova (the material collected in Primorskii Territory, the Russian Far East), K. Ataev (Turkmenistan), G.A. Auezova, V.N. Senotrusova (Kazakhstan), A.S. Gembitskii (Belorussia), V.V. Dubrovskaya, T.G. Zhdanova, A.K. Shevchenko (Ukraine), A.G. Mirzaeva (Siberia and the Far East), Z. Khabirov (Tajikistan), and many other dipterists of the Soviet Union.

These materials cover most of the regions of Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. In addition, the slide-mounted and ethanol material of biting midges was received as an exchange from the colleagues working in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Iran, India, Japan and many other countries.

Nowadays, the new materials continue enriching the collection. They are taken by the staff associates of the Zoological Institute during the expeditions or provided by the colleagues from other institutions, in particular, in the scope of exchange.


Collection Curator

Natalia Brodskaya, Senior Collection Keeper of the Laboratory of Parasitic Arthropods

Tel.: +7 (812) 328-07-11, ext. 281
Laboratory of Parasitic Arthropods, Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences
199034, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya nab., 1