Development of a Diurnal Resting Box to Collect Culiseta Melanura (COQ.)

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  • Entomological Research Center, Florida State Board of Health, Vero Beach

Summary

Artificial resting boxes (12 × 18 × 30 inches) were used to collect Culiseta melanura in a hammock near Vero Beach, Florida. These boxes provided an easy and effective method to obtain sizable numbers of C. melanura as well as some other mosquitoes. About 15% of all the females collected were blood-engorged.

The use of cloth collecting bags inside the boxes saved time and simplified collecting without reducing the size of the collections.

The boxes attracted more mosquitoes 1) when placed in less densely vegetated areas, 2) when the entrance faced east rather than west, 3) when the height of the dark box entrance was increased from 6 to 12 inches, and 4) when the apparent size of the dark entrance was increased by the addition of a large concave frame around the opening.

Most C. melanura entered the boxes before 8:30 a.m., but some flight activity was evident during most of the day. A higher proportion of the individuals entering after 9:00 a.m. were females, and more of these females contained blood than did those entering earlier. More C. melanura left than entered the boxes during the day. The optimum collection time appears to be influenced by the weather conditions.

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