Six species of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) were collected in sufficient numbers for analysis in segregating traps set at 2-h intervals by using CO2 and light as attractants in a West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) focus in Stratford, CT. The Kolmogorov–Smirnov one-sided test for two samples was used to analyze the data. Mosquito activity began shortly before sunset and continued until shortly after sunrise the next morning. All species had geometric means that were significantly higher during the 2-h period shortly after sunset compared with the 2-h collection before sunset. Species, known to be naturally infected with WNV, were often attracted to these traps in about equal numbers at 2-h intervals during an 8- to 10-h period commencing shortly after sunset. Differences of geometric means were not significant among the four or five 2-h collection periods commencing at sunset for Aedes vexans (Meigen), Culex salinarius Coquillett, and Aedes cinereus Meigen. Aedes cantator (Coquillett) had a significantly higher geometric mean for the 2-h period commencing at sunset, and Coquillettidia perturbans (Walker) was captured in significantly greater numbers during the 2-h period starting at sunset compared with periods commencing 6 h after sunset. Culex pipiens L. tended to have an activity pattern that was primarily nocturnal. Time of night, not meteorological conditions, was the most important factor in determining the nightly variation in the number of trapped mosquitoes. Parity rates of Cx. pipiens collected during specific periods of the night were not significant. In total, 39 isolations of WNV were made from seven species collected primarily during periods of total darkness. Humans are at risk of being bitten by infected mosquitoes throughout the night.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6