[en] The collection of biting midges was taking place some months before the first bluetongue outbreak in Belgium in August 2006. The Walloon Agricultural Research Centre had been monitoring aphid populations at two sites annually in Belgium (Gembloux and Libramont), using two stationary '12-m' Rothamsted suction traps. For the Gembloux trap, collections of insects captured daily from 11 May 2006 onwards were already available at the time of the outbreak. An examination of these samples revealed the presence of Culicoides, some species of which are considered as potential vectors of the bluetongue virus (BTV). The trapping was therefore extended beyond the normal aphid activity period and the Culicoides captured were identified to species level. From 11 May to 31 December 2006, the Gembloux trap caught 664 Culicoides specimens belonging to 19 species comprising known BTV-vectors. The second trap, at Libramont, was reactivated from 12 September to 13 October and caught 97 specimens belonging to nine species, all of which had been found at the Gembloux site. Among the 19 species identified, four were new to Belgian fauna: Culicoides achrayi, C. deltus, C. lupicaris and C. newsteadi. This paper examines the overall phenology and the physiological status of Culicoides in 2006 before and during the bluetongue epidemic. It discusses the potential of the Rothamsted suction trap to monitor Culicoides.