Mark-recapture of Culex erythrothorax in Santa Cruz County, California

J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2003 Jun;19(2):134-8.


The dispersal of the tule mosquito, Culex erythrothorax, was studied in the proximity of Lake Tynan in the city of Watsonville, CA. From July 18 to 20, 2000, approximately 43,000 female Cx. erythrothorax were marked with luminous powder and released, using a distinct color each day. Recaptures were sampled by using 21 carbon dioxide-baited traps ranging in distance from zero to 2.8 km from the release site. During the 5 days of postrelease sampling, 319 marked mosquitoes were recaptured. The percentage of the marked mosquitoes that were recaptured was 0.46, 0.50, and 0.55% based on the 3 releases, respectively. Overall, the mosquitoes dispersed 0.57 km/day; the mean distance traveled increased during the 5-day sampling period from 0.42 km/day to 0.89 km/day from day 1 to day 5, respectively. Based on the Lincoln index, the estimated total population size for Cx. erythrothorax in the study area ranged from 3.8 to 94 million mosquitoes. This species was found to constitute a nuisance to local residents because of the abundance of this species and its capability to disperse into proximal communities.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • California
  • Culex*
  • Female
  • Population Dynamics