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|Left: male, right: female|
Culex quinquefasciatus (earlier known as Culex fatigans), the southern house mosquito, is the vector of lymphatic filariasis caused by the nematode Wuchereria bancrofti in the tropics and subtropics. It also is a vector of avian malaria in birds.
As a vector
This species is the primary vector of several arboviral diseases in the Southern United States, most particularly West Nile virus, and filariasis in India. It is a strong-winged domestic species seen all over India in and around human dwellings. Rapid urbanization and industrialization without adequate drainage facilities are responsible for its increased dispersal. Upon emergence, adult females prefer obtaining blood from birds, but as they age, the species is highly anthropophilic (they prefer human blood). They enter the houses at dusk and reach maximum density by midnight. The peak biting time is at midnight. Legs, particularly below the knee, are the preferred biting sites. During the day, it may be seen resting indoors on walls, underneath furniture, hanging cloths in dark corners, or in closets/wardrobes/cupboards.
It breeds profusely in dirty water collections, including stagnant drains, cesspools, septic tanks with leak, burrow pits, and almost all organic polluted water collections. In optimum temperature and humidity, the life cycle will be completed in seven days, passing through the egg, larva, pupa and adult stages.
- Parks Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine, by K Park, 19th edition, published by Bhanot Publishers, Jabalpur India.
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