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Coquillettidia perturbans

Coquillettidia perturbans

Coquillettidia perturbans is the only species of this genus found in South Dakota and produces only one generation per year. This species is found more commonly in the eastern and southern states, but is also present in small numbers in the Great Plains, Rocky Mountain states and along the Pacific coast. The larval habitat is freshwater permanent ponds, lakes and marshes in areas with emergent vegetation. Larvae attach to underwater roots and stems and use an adapted siphon to obtain oxygen through the vegetation. The larvae can also breathe from the surface and absorb oxygen dissolved in water. One of the unusual characteristics of the Coquillettidia perturbans is the two large air bladders the larvae possess in their thorax and first abdominal segment. These air bladders allow this species to store air underwater for long periods of time. Adult females are often vicious biters and will bite during the daytime in shady, humid places, however, feeding spikes at dusk and after midnight. This species is a strong flier and will fly several miles to find hosts. Coquillettidia perturbans is a rather large, brown and pale speckled mosquito with characteristic pale bands at about the outer third of both the hind femur and the hind tibia. This species has been identified as a vector for eastern equine encephalitis.

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