Culicoides (Avaritia) loxodontis sp. nov., is described and illustrated from both sexes collected in South Africa. It is the 5th species of the lmicola group of the subgenus Avaritia to be described from the Afrotropical Region, and is presently known only from the Kruger National Park where it has been collected in light-traps and reared from the dung of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) on various occasions. A number of character states, and statistical analyses of antennal and palpal measurements, are used to separate the new species from its taxonomic congeners C. imicola Kieffer, 1913, C.
pseudopallidipennis Clastrier, 1958, C. bolitinos Meiswinkel, 1989 and C. miombo Meiswinkel, 1991. It is suggested that the occurrence of the African elephant is the primary factor that determines the distribution of Culicoides loxodontis sp. nov., and that this close association, coupled with the fact that C. loxodontis sp. nov. can be locally abundant, may result in the cycling of certain arboviruses between this biting midge and the elephant.
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