Species of the Month: Aedes vexans

Aedes vexans, also known as the inland floodwater mosquito, is an important pest mosquito common throughout the United States. Its name has gone through many different changes. In its original description, it was named Culex vexans, but throughout the years its name has changed from Culex vexans to Culex sylvestris or the “swamp mosquito” to what we know it as now Aedes vexans (Carpenter and LaCasse 1955).

amca aedes vexans

Where do Aedes vexans live?

Aedes vexans is a floodwater mosquito that overwinters in the egg stage. The females lay their eggs singly in sites subject to flooding by rain, overflow, seepage, or tidal water. Just like other floodwater mosquitoes, Ae. vexans need their eggs to dry out before being flooded but need some moisture for embryonation. This makes the choice of egg laying habitat vital to the species survival. They find their preferred habitats by means of cues based on environmental factors.

Moist soil in a flood plain or swamp with plenty of cover from twigs or leaves or a low herbal canopy make the perfect place for Ae. vexans to lay her eggs.

swamp habitat for mosquitoes
Effectively Treat Floodwater Mosquitoes

What is the distribution for Aedes vexans?

Aedes vexans is one of the most widely distributed floodwater mosquitoes in the world, it can be found throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It can even be found in the northern parts of Africa! This could be due to the wide range of habitats it utilizes. You can find these larvae in rain pools, tire piles, stormwater management facilities, dredge spoil sites, salt marshes, ditches, flooded woodlands, swamps, and the list goes on…

Floodwater Habitat

How do you identify Aedes vexans?

aedex vexans legs

Look at the legs of the mosquito, you should see narrow pale basal bands on the hind legs.

aedes vexans abdomen

The dorsal view of the abdomen has  basal pale bands in the shape of an upside down “V” for vexans!

aedex vexans scientific classification

How can you treat larvae before they become a nuisance or spread disease?

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Role in Disease Transmission

Aedes vexans is a competent vector of numerous arboviruses such as Rift Valley Fever virus, Zika virus, West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, and dog heart-worm (Parry et. al, 2020). Additionally, they are considered to be a primary biting nuisance in most areas with the ability to produce several broods of eggs per season, making the control of this mosquito extremely important!

Facts about aedes vexans mosquitoes

How do you monitor and control Aedes vexans?

Mosquito surveillance includes monitoring population dynamics and disease prevalence. Mosquito control districts monitor these things to better understand what types of mosquitoes, how many and if they are infected with arboviruses.

To conduct surveillance on Ae. vexans populations, mosquito control districts can utilize light traps, landing rate counts, and larval dipping to find and monitor places where mosquitoes lay eggs.

This allows for tracking of mosquito populations and the viruses they may be spreading. All of this data gathered allows mosquito control districts to make informed management decisions in order to prevent mosquitoes from becoming a nuisance and/or from spreading disease.

Mosquito catch from one light trap evening!

Larval dipping

Mosquito identification

Want to learn more about controlling Aedes vexans?

Larviciding Technology

Learn more about larvicide resistance and what you can do to prevent it!

Larvicide Resistance

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