Mosquito surveillance has been conducted across South Dakota (SD) to record and track potential West Nile virus (WNV) vectors since 2004. During this time, communities from 29 counties collected nearly 5.5 million mosquitoes, providing data from over 60,000 unique trapping nights. The nuisance mosquito, Aedes vexans (Meigen) was the most abundant species in the state (39.9%), and most abundant in most regions. The WNV vector, Culex tarsalis Coquillett (Diptera: Culicidae), was the second most abundant species (20.5%), and 26 times more abundant than the other Culex species that also transmit WNV. However, geographic variation did exist between WNV vector species, as well as relative abundance of vector and nuisance mosquitoes. The abundance of Ae. vexans decreased from east to west in South Dakota, resulting in an increase in the relative abundance of Cx. tarsalis. Other species are reported in this study, with various relative abundances throughout the different regions of South Dakota. WNV infection rates of mosquitoes showed that Cx. tarsalis had the most positive sampling pools and the highest vector index of all the species tested. This study addressed the need for an updated summary of the predominant mosquito species present in the United States Northern Great Plain and provides infection rate data for WNV among these predominant species.
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Vol. 57 • No. 3