Culex nigripalpus

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Culex nigripalpus female (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Sean McCann
Source: BugGuide

Culex nigripalpus Theobald, 1901

This mosquito species is common in tropical and subtropical parts of America, where it is an important disease vector. It transmits St. Louis encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and the West Nile virus. It feeds on birds, mammals and humans, mainly in the hours after sunset and before sunrise. While birds are cited as main hosts, it is rather opportunistic in its feeding habit and has a large host range. A study in Brazil (Laporta et al., 2008) found rodents and dogs to be the main hosts and human blood was detected in 10% of the mosquitoes.

Culex nigripalpus (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Henry D. Pratt
Source: Public Health Image Library - image ID 14885

It breeds in shallow, stagnant water, rich in organic matter. These may be ditches, marshes or flooded pastures. Both larvae and adults cannot tolerate cold temperatures. Development is fast and each of the 4 larval stages lasts only 1-2 days. Therefore, populations can increase rapidly during warm and rainy conditions and may reach high densities.

C. nigripalpus is a medium sized mosquito, brown and without very distinctive marks. The pronotum has dark, longitudinal stripes. The palpi are short and the abdomen lacks bands.