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Species Culex tarsalis - Western Encephalitis Mosquito

A **!!#%! Mosquito! - Culex tarsalis - female Culex tarsalis - male Fly - Culex tarsalis - male Mosquito - Culex tarsalis Brown mosquito with two-tone probiscus - Culex tarsalis - female Culex tarsalis, we think - Culex tarsalis - male Mosquito - Culex tarsalis - female mosquito - Culex tarsalis - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Infraorder Culicomorpha (Mosquitoes and Midges)
Family Culicidae (Mosquitoes)
Tribe Culicini
Genus Culex
Species tarsalis (Western Encephalitis Mosquito)
Other Common Names
Explanation of Names
Culex tarsalis Coquillett, 1896
The genus contains 27 spp. n. of Mex. (1)
5.5 mm (2)
< note banded hind legs and proboscis
Adult Female:
Scutum with middorsal acrostichal setae, hindtarsomeres with distinct apical and basal bands of pale scales, proboscis with complete distinct ring of pale scales, anterior of forefemur and tibia with pale stripe or line of pale-scaled spots, V-shaped dark marks on abdominal sterna.(3)
CA-FL-OH-BC / n. Mex.
Most abundant in western agroecosystems and wetlands and relatively rare east of the Mississippi River. - Dr. William Reisen, 2002, 2013
Larvae tolerate a wide range of water conditions and may be abundant in agricultural tailwater, alkaline lake beds, fresh and saline wetlands, secondary treated sewage effluent and oil field run-off. Permanent water with fixed depth rarely supports abundant populations unless intermittently perturbated. Excessive organic pollution is not tolerated. - Dr. William Reisen, 2013
Temporal abundance patterns vary from summer-active in the north to winter-active in the south. - Dr. William Reisen, 2013
Life Cycle
In spring, when population abundance is low, most females feed on birds shortly after sunset. During late summer when abundance is high, bird mosquito-avoidance behavior diverts many females to feed on mammals including rabbits, horses, cattle and man. This host shift may be important in virus transmission to horses and man. - Dr. William Reisen, 2013
Culex tarsalis is the most important mosquito vector of arboviruses in western North America - Dr. William Reisen, 2013
See Also
Is it Culex tarsalis or Culex coronator? - Florida Medical Entomology Lab
Print References
Barker, C.M., B.F. Eldridge, and W.K. Reisen. 2010. Seasonal Abundance of Culex tarsalis and Culex pipiens Complex Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in California. Journal of Medical Entomology 47(5): 759–768. Full Text
Coquillett, D.W. 1896. New Culicidae from North America. The Canadian Entomologist 28(2): 43-44.
Internet References
Culex tarsalis - History, Biology, Ecology, Public Health and Control - Dr. William Reisen, 2002
western encephalitis mosquito, Culex tarsalis - Dr. William Reisen, Arborvirus Field Station, Bakersfield, CA, 2013
Is it Culex tarsalis or Culex coronator? - Florida Medical Entomology Lab
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Handbook of the Mosquitoes of North America, 2nd Ed.
Matheson, R. 1966. Hafner Publishing Company, NY. viii + 314 pp.
3.Identification And Geographical Distribution Of The Mosquitoes: Of North America, North Of Mexico
Richard F., Jr. Darsie, RONALD A. WARD, Chien C. Chang, Taina Litwak. 2004. University Press of Florida.