Other Common Names
Florida SLE Mosquito (unofficial local common name)
Explanation of Names
Culex nigripalpus Theobald, 1901
pale triangles on the side of the abdomen, especially distally; legs dark, unbanded - FMEL
Proboscis dark-scaled, palpi dark. Scutum clothed with golden-brown scales on dark bronze-brown integument. Scutellum with brown setae and dark brown-bronze scales on lobes.
Abdominal tergites clothed in dark brown scales, occasionally with light basal stripe. Basolateral white-scaled patches present.
se US (TX-FL-NC-TN) south to S. Amer. (2)
Diverse habitats, but shelters in dense vegetation during the day.
Larval habitats also diverse, but mainly associated with flooded grassy pastures and croplands. For this reason it is considered a "floodwater mosquito".
Year-round, population peaks from mid-July to October, depending on rainfall
Both the adults and larvae may be found throughout the year in the extreme southern US (2)
The females are sometimes taken in the southern US while biting, but seem to be less inclined to bite man than is C. salinarius
A proportional increase in feeding on mammals occurred in early summer, reached a maximum between July and October, and was followed by a shift back to avian hosts which dominated the feeding pattern during winter and spring. This finding strengthens the hypothesis that a biphasic pattern of feeding is a basic characteristic of an enzootic vector that, in epidemic years, also serves as the primary vector of avian arbovirus to man. (3)
This species has been incriminated as the primary enzootic vector of SLE and WNV in Florida. Also a vector of dog heartworm. Often present in extremely large numbers.
Nayar, J.K. 1982. Bionomics and Physiology of Culex nigripalpus (Diptera: Culicidae) of Florida: An Important Vector of Diseases. University of Florida, Gainesville.