The earliest documented specimen of an exotic east Asian mosquito Ochlerotatus (Finlaya) japonicus japonicus (Theobald) in the Western Hemisphere is reported along with the results of a state wide survey to determine the distribution and abundance of this mosquito in Connecticut. Ochlerotatus japonicus was collected from 87 locations in eight counties. It is established throughout the state and occurs in a variety of natural and artificial container habitats including discarded tire casings, bird baths, wooden barrels, porcelain bath tubs (used for watering animals), plastic milk cartons, toys, vinyl tarpaulins (covering wood piles and swimming pools), exposed rock holes in stream beds, tree holes, subterranean catch basins, surface water rain pools, and spring-fed depressions. Larvae were particularly common in containers with water, decaying leaves, and algae, in shaded and sunlit areas and, in rock-pool habitats along streambeds, in association with Ochlerotatus atropalpus (Coquillett). Adult females were collected in sod grass-infused gravid and CO2-baited light traps, from early June through October, with peak collections in September. Biting females were collected by human bait method augmented with CO2, verifying its capacity to feed on humans. The ovitraps used in this study were not effective for recovering this species. Our results suggest that Oc. japonicus was introduced into Connecticut between 1992 and 1998. Because of the ability of Oc. japonicus to transmit West Nile virus, and because of the recent detection of this virus in field-collected specimens, the introduction of Oc. japonicus is considered a significant public health development.
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Vol. 38 • No. 6