Systematic Catalog of Culicidae

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tarsalis Coquillett

1896:43 (M, F)
Type-loc: Argus Mountains, California, United States (USNM)

Additional References:
Ross 1947:49 (M*, F*, L*)
Yamaguti and LaCasse 1951: [F*].
Lungstrom 1954:86 (biol.)
Carpenter & LaCasse 1955:294 (M*, F*, L*)
Horsfall 1955:592 (biol., disease relations)
Lungstrom 1955:68 (P*, L*)
Bohart & Washino 1957:463 (L*)
Dow et al. 1957:294 (biol., disease relations)
Stone & Knight 1957: 57 (lectotype desig.)
Bram 1967: 106 (M*, F, L)
Darsie & Day 2003: 101 (P*; tax., key)


Canada, Mexico, United States; contiguous lower 48

The larvae are found in clear or foul water in a variety of habitats including ditches, irrigation systems, ground pools, marshes, pools in stream beds, rain barrels, hoofprints, and ornamental pools. Foul water in corrals and around slaughter yards appear to be favorite larval habitats in many localities. Biters, attacking at dusk and after dark, and readily entering dwellings for blood meals. Domestic and wild birds seem to be the preferred hosts. Man, cows, and horses are generally incidental hosts. (Carpenter and LaCasse 1955:296)

Medical Importance:
Culex tarsalis is believed to be the chief vector of western equine encephalitis virus under natural conditions. The virus has been isolated from wild-caught C. tarsalis on several occasions in areas in which the disease was both epidemic and epizoijtic. The viruses of both St. Louis and California encephalitis have been isolated from this mosquito. (Carpenter and LaCasse 1955:296) It also a vector of West Nile Virus (Hayes, Komar, Nasci et al. 2005 :