Animalia / Mandulibulata / Hexapoda / Diptera / Culicidae / Ochlerotatus / Species:

Ochlerotatus canadensis - Woodland pool mosquito:

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INDEX - INFORMATION AVAILABLE

The information in subject headings below is of a general nature on mosquitoes, and Ochlerotatus genus. Species specific information is only added where available/appropriate. For this species information has been added in the sections marked *.

GENERAL & REFERENCES

APPEARANCE

LIFE CYCLE

ENVIRONMENT

STATUS

 
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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Alternative scientific names for species

  • Aedes canadensis, Culex canadensis, Culex nivitarsis (B505)

Common names for species / adults

Culicine Mosquitoes; Aedes Mosquitoes

Names for other life stages

  • Larval stages may be referred to as instars.
  • Pupae may be called Tumblers.

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General Appearance and Characteristics

  • A dark mosquito with white ends to the legs. (D70)
  • Medium-sized species. (B505)
  • Single generation. (W254.Dec03.WNV7, J300.10.w1)
  • Described as mammalophilic (preferring to feed on mammals) (W170, P39.2.w6).
  • Generally, in favourable conditions, the time required for development of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) varies from about 7 to 16 days. (B24)

Similar Species

--
Sexual Dimorphism --

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Associated Diseases
(Information on this species has been added specifically to support the "West Nile Virus" Wildpro volume.
Information on other diseases for which this species is a vector will be fully researched and added in due course.)

Linked Diseases

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References

Species Author

Suzanne I. Boardman (V.w6)

Species Editor

Debra Bourne (V.w5)

References

B24, B46, B73, B502, B503, B504, D70

ORGANISATIONS
(USA Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Population Management / Control

Notes

--

Management Techniques

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Appearance

Egg

Shape

Size

  • --
Colour
  • --
Egg wall

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Larva

GENERAL CULICIDAE INFORMATION

Shape

  • --

Size

  • --
Colour
  • --
Detailed anatomical comments
  • Culicine larvae:
    • do not have float (palmate) hairs on abdominal segments. (D70)
    • the respiratory openings (stigmata) are at the tip of a siphon (air tube) which arises from the dorsal aspect of the eight and ninth abdominal segments and surrounds the stigmata. (B24, D70)
    • in Aedes/Ochlerotatus genera larvae, the breathing tube is relatively short and stout. (B503)
    • tracheal gills are well-developed in forms that feed at the bottom of the water, such as Aedes/Ochlerotatus genera. (B24)
    • in Aedes/Ochlerotatus genera larvae, sclerotization of the anal segment is usually incomplete around the segment. (B503)

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Pupa

Shape

  • --

Size

  • --
Colour
  • --
Detailed anatomical comments
  • --

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Adult

Male characteristics (if different from above)

Shape

  • In Culicine Mosquitoes the resting position of abdomen is pointed towards the resting surface, i.e. the proboscis and abdomen are at an angle, giving a hump-backed appearance. (B24, B503)

Size

  • Medium-sized species. (B505)

Colour

  • A dark mosquito with tarsi that have tarsi with white at both ends of the segments. (D70)

Detailed Anatomical Comments

HEAD
  • In Culicines- the palpi of females are very short, while those of the male are usually as long as the proboscis, not clubbed, long, densely haired, and pointed. (B24, B503, D70)

THORAX

  • In Culicine mosquitoes the scutellum (posterior part of the back of the thorax of the insect) is evenly curved. (B24, B503)
  • Aedes/Ochlerotatus genera species do not have spiracular bristles in front of the mesothoracic spiracles, but do have post-spiracular bristles (a group of bristles immediately behind the mesothoracic spiracle). (B503)

ABDOMEN

  • In Culicines the abdomen is covered with scales which often form characteristic markings. (D70)
  • Aedes/Ochlerotatus genera females usually have a pointed tip to the abdomen with the paired cerci (jointed appendage at the tip of the abdomen in insects) protruding. (B503)
  • In Aedes/Ochlerotatus genera species, the female abdomen is tapered apically, with the eighth segment withdrawn into the seventh. (D70)

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Life Cycle

Egg production and development

  • This species overwinters in the egg stage. (B505)
  • In some temperate Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) species, eggs may over-winter. (B46)
  • This species is one of the first mosquitoes to appear in early spring. (D70)
  • Generally Aedes/Ochlerotatus genera eggs -
    • lay eggs on the ground where they remain until flooded. (D70)
    • eggs from these species can survive for 3 to 5 years if flooding does not occur. (D70)
Oviposition (place and type of egg-laying)
Time to hatching
Number of broods
  • Some of the woodland Aedes/Ochlerotatus genera species have a single brood each year and so are particularly troublesome early in the season. (B503)

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Larval Development / Natural Diet / Behaviour

Natural Diet
Physiological Requirements Temperature

Food supplies:

Respiration:

Predation in the wild
  • Fish, insects. (D70)
Behaviour and Activity Patterns
  • Young stages of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) can be transferred to new areas by water flowing intermittently. (B24)
  • Too much rain can wash away the larvae and decrease the number of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family), unless pools remain afterwards. (B24)
  • Generally, Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae can rest just beneath the surface without effort; certain non-wetting structures suspend the larvae from the water surface film. (D70)
  • Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae move in two ways, by:
    • jerks of the body. (D70)
    • propulsion with the mouth brushes. (D70)
  • Culicine mosquitoes generally move by using mouth brushes to "crawl" over the bottom and move slowly on the surface. (D70)
  • Culicine larvae:
    • tend to hang head down with only the tip of the air tube penetrating the surface film, suspended from the water surface by the air tube. (B503, D70).
    • feed below surface of the water. (B24)
    • the air tube is closed by the chitinous valves which open when the larva goes to the surface of the water to breath. (B24)

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Pupal Development

  • All Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) pupae are aquatic and motile, using paddle-like, oval extensions attached terminally to the abdomen to move up and down in the water. (B46, D70).
  • The pupal stage for Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) is usually short: a few hours may be sufficient for certain dry climate species, but more normally ranges from two days in the tropics but can be more than several weeks in temperate regions. (B46, B504, D70)
  • No Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) pupa is known to overwinter as a pupa. (D70)
  • The Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) pupa release the adult through a hole / split in back (dorsum) of the pupal cuticle (tegument) as the pupal case floats on the surface of the water. The wings are fully expanded and hardened after about 24 hours and the mosquito is then soon able to fly. (B46, B504, D70)
Natural Diet
Physiological Requirements Respiration
Predation in the wild
  • Probably - fish, insects. (D70)
Behaviour and Activity Patterns
  • All Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) pupae are motile, using paddle-like, oval extensions attached terminally to the abdomen to move up and down in the water. (B46, D70).
  • Most Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) pupae tend to be lighter than water due to an air space between the wing cases on the underside of the cephalothorax. (D70)
  • Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) pupae can move about with considerable speed by vigorous movement of the abdomen, tending to rise directly to the surface when movement stops although they tend to be not quite as active as the larvae. (B24, D70)

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Adult Reproduction / Physiology / Natural Diet / Behaviour

  • Single generation. (W254.Dec03.WNV7, J300.10.w1)
Natural Diet
  • Described as mammalophilic (preferring to feed on mammals) (W170, P39.2.w6).
  • Most Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) species have a generally preferred group of hosts (e.g. birds, mammals, amphibians), but host preference can vary seasonally and often depends on availability. (V.w55)
  • Female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) species of veterinary and medical importance normally feed on blood and many species require a blood feed in order to lay eggs (other species of mosquitoes feed only on plants and these are usually of little interest as disease vectors or pests. B504); the protein is necessary for the maturation of ovaries. This cycle requires two or more days for the female to digest the blood, lay a batch of eggs, then seek another blood meal; the cycle can be repeated many times in a female's life. (B24, B504, D70)
  • When Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) females feed, a tube is formed by the proboscis and the stylets penetrate the skin of the animal and form a small duct through which saliva is injected into the wound; they also act as a canal through which liquid food is ingested. (B46, D70)
  • Adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) can be fed on fruit juices and sugar water, and males normally feed on a similar diet in the wild. (B24)
  • Adult male Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) (and occasionally the females) feed on nectar and other plant juices. (B24, B503)
  • female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) can bite through clothing. (B46)
Predation in the wild --
Reproduction and Life-span
  • The females seem to be long-lived, persisting in small numbers in the woods until late summer. (B505)
  • Flagellum of spermatozoa of Hexapoda has microtubule arrangement of 9 + 9 + 2. (B502)
  • The male Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) usually emerge first. (D70)
  • Only one mating by the females Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) is generally required to fertilise her lifetime egg production. (D70)
  • The life-span of adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) is not well known; some species apparently live one or two months during summer, whereas adults that hibernate can live for six months or more. (D70)
  • Approximately equal number of male and female Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) are produced. (D70)
  • Although the life span of adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) is usually short, females that are too late to lay due to environmental conditions, may either hibernate or aestivate until the following season. (B24)
  • There can be more than one generation of this species per years. (D70)
  • The adults of this species live for several months. (D70)
Behaviour and Activity Patterns
  • The females of this species are described as persistent biters that attack readily in shaded situations throughout most of the day. (B505)
  • This mosquito rarely migrates far from its larval habitats. (D70)
  • The feeding behaviour of the female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) may cause great nuisance to their host species and bites can be painful and may become secondarily infected. (B24, B46, V.w6)
  • Female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) tend to hide in dark corners (hollow trees, culverts etc.) during the day and may use these as hibernacula. (B24, B46, B503)
  • female Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) tend to live longer and travel greater distances than the male. (D70)
  • Female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) seem to be attracted by skin warmth. (B24)
  • Female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) are usually active at night (nocturnal feeders), in twilight hours or in dense shade, although some species may feed entirely during the day. (B24, B46, B503, D70)
  • Adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) may fly fair distances, varying between different species, and may be carried by the wind, or travel in a number of stages. They can also travel in vehicles. (B24)
  • This mosquito rarely migrates far from its larval habitats. (D70)
  • The adults of this species usually occur from March until October although they become less abundant in late summer and early fall. (D70)
Detailed Physiological Comments
  • The antennae of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) are believed to to used for hearing and smelling. (D70)
  • Two small knobbed structures (halteres) vibrate rapidly whilst the mosquito is in flight and serve as organs of equilibrium. (D70)

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Environment

General Habitat type (Biogeographical / Climate Type)

  • This mosquito prefers pools with a bottom of dead and decaying leaves, although larvae are also found in roadside puddles, sink holes, wooded swamps and isolated oxbows of small woodland streams. (D70)
  • The larvae of this species develop in temporary or semi-permanent shaded woodlands containing fallen leaves, and to a lesser extent in pools in small stream beds and pools and ditches adjacent to wooded areas. (B505)
Typical USA Mosquito Habitats

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Microhabitat (Egg, Larvae, Pupae, Adult)

Egg Temperature

Humidity

Larva
  • The larvae of this species live in woodland pools filled by melting snow or by spring rains. (D70)
  • In deeper pools the larvae invariably accupy the shallow margins, although the larvae of associated species occupy the deeper parts. (B505)
  • All Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae live in water. (D70)
  • Development of the eggs, larvae and pupae of all Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) species require water. (D70)
  • Vegetation is important for the development of larval Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family). (D70)
  • Habitats of larval Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) vary greatly between species and may include small temporary collections of water (puddles etc.) to marshes. The larvae are rarely found in fast-flowing streams or rivers, or large uninterrupted waterbodies such as lakes. (B46)
  • Aedes/Ochlerotatus genera species breed mainly in woodland pools and salt marshes. (B503)
  • All Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae live in water, permanent ponds and marshes, temporary flood waters or woodland pools, water contained in tree holes, leaves of plants, or artificial containers. (D70)
  • Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae are not usually found in flowing streams and the open waters of large streams, lakes and seas. (D70)

Light:

Pupa
Adult
  • Hibernation / aestivation sites of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) females are usually relatively dark conditions with an even temperature, such as cellars, barns and lofts under thatched roofs. (B24)

Light:

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Geographical Distribution, Migration etc.

  • This mosquito is widely distributed in the United States and is particularly common in the northern states. (D70)

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Status

Intra-specific variation (subspeciation)

 

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Conservation / Pest / Legal Status

  • The females of this species are described as persistent biters that attack readily in shaded situations throughout most of the day. (B505)
  • This mosquito is often a serious pest in woodland situations but rarely migrates far from its larval habitats. (D70)
  • The feeding behaviour of the female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) may cause great nuisance to their host species and bites can be painful and may become secondarily infected. (B24, B46, V.w6)

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