Mosquitoes Associated with Arboviral1 Activity in Massachusetts*


 

1. Aedes vexans – Is a common nuisance mosquito. Temporary flooded areas such as woodland pools and natural depressions are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds on mammals and is a fierce human biter. This species is typically collected from May to October. Ae vexans is an epizootic2 vector3 of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) Virus.

 

2. Coquillettidia perturbans - Cattail marshes are the primary larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds on both birds and mammals. It is a persistent human biter and one of the most common mosquitoes in Massachusetts. This species is typically collected from June to September. Cq perturbans is an epizootic vector of EEE.

 

3. Culex pipiens – Artificial containers are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds mainly on birds and occasionally on mammals. It will bite humans, typically from dusk into the evening. This species is regularly collected from May to October but can be found year round as it readily overwinters in manmade structures. Cx pipiens has been implicated as a vector of West Nile Virus (WNV).

 

4. Culex restuans – Natural and artificial containers are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds almost primarily on birds but has been known to bite humans on occasion. This species is typically collected from May to October but can be found year round as it readily overwinters in man-made structures. Cx restuans has been implicated as a vector of WNV.

 

5. Culex salinarius – Brackish and freshwater wetlands are the preferred habitat of this mosquito. It feeds on birds, mammals, and amphibians and is well known for biting humans. This species is typically collected from May to October but can be found year round as it readily overwinters in natural and manmade structures. Cx salinarius may be involved in the transmission of both WNV and EEE.

 

6. Culiseta melanura –White cedar and red maple swamps are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds almost exclusively on birds. This species is typically collected from May to October. Cs melanura is the primary enzootic4 vector of EEE.

 

7. Ochlerotatus canadensis – Shaded woodland pools are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds mainly on birds and mammals but is also known to take blood meals from amphibians and reptiles. This mosquito can be a fierce human biter near its larval habitat. This species is typically collected from May to October. Oc. canadensis is an epizootic vector of EEE.

 

8. Ochlerotatus japonicus – Natural and artificial containers such as tires, catch basins, and rock pools are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds mainly on mammals and is a fierce human biter. This species is typically collected from May to October. Oc. japonicus may be involved in the transmission of both WNV and EEE.

 

*From the 2011 MDPH Arbovirus Surveillance Plan located here:              http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dph/cdc/arbovirus/arbovirus_surveillance_plan.pdf

 


 

DEFINITIONS:

 

1. Arboviral (or arbovirus): [noun] any of several groups of viruses that are transmitted by bloodsucking arthropods (insects) such as ticks, fleas, or mosquitoes.

 

2. Epizootic: [adjective] a disease that appears as new cases in a given animal population, during a given period, at a rate that substantially exceeds what is "expected" based on recent experience (i.e. a sharp elevation in the incidence rate). Epidemic is the analogous term applied to human populations.

 

3. Vector: [noun] an insect or other organism that transmits a pathogenic fungus, virus, bacterium, etc.

 

4. Enzootic: [adjective] native to a place or a specific fauna