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The role that different age classes of birds play in the amplification of arthropod-borne viruses depends critically on the feeding choices made by mosquitoes. To determine if mosquitoes are more likely to feed on nestling or adult birds, we introduced Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes into eastern bluebird Sialia sialis nest boxes after dark and recaptured(More)
Patterns of mosquito dispersal are important for predicting the risk of transmission of mosquito-borne pathogens to vertebrate hosts. We studied dispersal behavior of Culex erraticus (Dyar & Knab), a potentially significant vector of eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) that is often associated with foci of this pathogen in the southeastern United(More)
A simple inexpensive trap (Esperanza window trap) was shown recently to collect significant numbers of Simulium ochraceum sensu lato, a major vector of Onchocerca volvulus in Mesoamerica. Here, we report studies optimizing this trap for the collection of Simulium damnosum s.l., the major vector of O. volvulus in Africa. A shortened, blue and black striped(More)
Determining the structure of ectoparasite-host networks will enable disease ecologists to better understand and predict the spread of vector-borne diseases. If these networks have consistent properties, then studying the structure of well-understood networks could lead to extrapolation of these properties to others, including those that support emerging(More)
The hypothesis that nestlings are a significant driver of arbovirus transmission and amplification is based upon findings that suggest nestlings are highly susceptible to being fed upon by vector mosquitoes and to viral infection and replication. Several previous studies have suggested that nestlings are preferentially fed upon relative to adults in the(More)
Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen that cycles in birds but also causes severe disease in humans and horses. We examined patterns of avian host use by vectors of EEEV in Alabama from 2001 to 2009 using blood-meal analysis of field-collected mosquitoes and avian abundance surveys. The northern cardinal (Cardinalis(More)
At a wetland study site in Tuskegee National Forest, AL, resting female mosquitoes were collected from natural and artificial resting sites to identify species-specific resting sites and to evaluate various artificial resting sites for their utility in collecting resting mosquitoes. Natural resting sites included small tree cavities, large tree cavities,(More)
Seasonal shifts in host use by mosquitoes from birds to mammals drive the timing and intensity of annual epidemics of mosquito-borne viruses, such as West Nile virus, in North America. The biological mechanism underlying these shifts has been a matter of debate, with hypotheses falling into two camps: (1) the shift is driven by changes in host abundance, or(More)
Reptiles and amphibians constitute a significant portion of vertebrate biomass in terrestrial ecosystems and may be important arbovirus reservoirs. To investigate mosquito preference for ectothermic hosts, feeding indices were calculated from data collected in Tuskegee National Forest, Alabama, USA. Four mosquito species fed upon ectothermic hosts, with(More)
In temperate regions, seasonal epidemics of many mosquito-borne viruses are triggered when mosquito populations shift from feeding on avian to mammalian hosts. We investigated effects of temperature on the timing of bird-to-mammal shifts using an 8 year dataset of blood-meals from a mosquito (Culex erraticus) in Alabama, USA. As expected, Cx. erraticus(More)