ALASKAN HEMATOPHAGOUS INSECTS, THEIR FEEDING HABITS AND POTENTIAL AS VECTORS OF PATHOGENIC ORGANISMS. 2. THE FEEDING HABITS AND COLONIZATION OF SUBARCTIC MOSQUITOES
OKLAHOMA UNIV RESEARCH INST NORMAN
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Feeding habits of mosquitoes of the taiga and tundra were studied. Greater emphasis was given to those of the taiga, however, because of the longer mosquito season and the greater variety of genera and species present. A tower was built with platforms at 6-foot intervals up to 42 feet, to study vertical distribution and host preference. Domestic chickens, white laboratory rabbits and varying hares, along with empty control boxes, were placed at the various heights. Approximately 80 of the 10,722 specimens obtained were collected in the first 18 feet. Using insect nets, 46,123 specimens were collected in the vicinity of the tower, both from vegetation and aerially up to height of 6 feet. Only six showed evidence of a recent blood meal. Evidence indicates that most subarctic mosquitoes take but one blood meal, a fact of considerable importance when considering them as vectors of zoonoses. Studies of the natural history of Culiseta alaskaensis indicated that the unfed adult females overwinter close to the ground in dense growths of grass underneath the snow cover where the temperature range is from 16 - 20 F. in the laboratory, C. alaskaensis lived only about one week at 0 F. Chromatographic studies did not reveal the presence of glycerol compounds in the hemolymph.