During the northern Europe epidemic of bluetongue (BT), Onderstepoort-type blacklight traps were used to capture Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midges weekly between November 2006 and December 2008 on 21 livestock farms in the Netherlands. Proven and potential vectors for the bluetongue virus (BTV) comprised almost 80% of the midges collected: the Obsoletus complex, constituting C. obsoletus (Meigen) and C. scoticus Downes & Kettle (44.2%), C. dewulfi Goetghebuer (16.4%), C. chiopterus (Meigen) (16.3%) and C. pulicaris (Linnaeus) (0.1%). Half of the 24 commonest species of Culicoides captured completed only one (univoltine) or two (bivoltine) generations annually, whereas multivoltine species (including all BTV vectors) cycled through five to six generations (exceeding the one to four generations calculated in earlier decades). Whether this increment signals a change in the phenology of northern Europe Culicoides or simply is an adaptive response that manifests during warmer episodes, thus heightening periodically the incursive potential of midge-borne arboviruses, remains to be clarified. Culicoides duddingstoni Kettle & Lawson, C. grisescens Edwards, C. maritimus Kieffer, C. pallidicornis Kieffer and C. riethi Kieffer are new records for the biting midge fauna of the Netherlands. It is suggested that C. punctatus (Meigen) be added to the European list of vector Culicoides.