Mosquito of the Month

Scientific Name:  Culex pipiens or Culex quinquefasciatus, subgenus Culex

Common Name:  Northern House and Southern House Mosquito

Culex pipiens and Culex quinquefasciatus are almost indistinguishable as an adult, they have overlapping ranges and quite similar biology and interbreed in places where they occur together. As adults they are small to medium sized with a light brown thorax and darker brown abdomen. Females feed mostly on songbirds, but also on humans and other mammals. They will enter homes in search of a blood meal leading to their common name. C. pipiens and C. quinquefasciatus are important in the transmission of bird pathogens that cause diseases in humans. In our area both of these species transmit West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and St. Louis as well as the filarial worm which causes dog heartworm. In other parts of the world females of C. quinquefasciatus transmits another worm which cause elephantiasis. Larvae can be found in marshes, ditches, discarded tires, cesspools and a number of water-filled man-made containers. They feed at dusk and dawn and have a flight range of less than a mile.

References:  Burkett-Cadena, N.D.  2013.  Mosquitoes of the Southeastern United States.  Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press. pp. 140-141.

This is a picture of the Culex species mosquito