Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasion, establishment, and spread of invasive mosquitoes from the culex coronator complex in urban areas of miami-dade county, Florida.

Abstract

Species from the Culex coronator complex are Neotropical species and potential vectors of Saint Louis and West Nile viruses. Culex coronator was first described in Trinidad and Tobago in the early twentieth century and since then it has invaded and has been reported established in most countries of the Americas. Species from the Culex coronator complex were first detected in the United States in the state of Louisiana in 2004 and were subsequently detected in Florida in 2005, reaching Miami-Dade County in 2008. We hypothesize that species from the Cx. coronator complex are adapting to urban environments in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and are becoming more present and abundant in these areas. Therefore, our objective was to investigate the patterns of the presence and abundance of species from the Cx. coronator complex in the urban areas of Miami-Dade County. Here we used weekly data comprised of 32 CDC traps from 2012 to 2020 and 150 BG-Sentinel traps from 2016 to 2020. A total of 34,146 female mosquitoes from the Cx. coronator complex were collected, 26,138 by CDC traps and 8008 by BG-Sentinel traps. While the number of CDC traps that were positive was relatively constant at 26-30 positive traps per year, the number of positive BG-Sentinel traps varied substantially from 50 to 87 positive traps per year. Furthermore, the heat map and logistic general linear model for repeated measures analyses showed a significant increase in both the distribution and abundance of mosquitoes from the Cx. coronator complex, indicating that these species are becoming more common in anthropized habitats being able to thrive in highly urbanized areas. The increase in the distribution and abundance of species from the Cx. coronator complex is a major public health concern. The ability of species from the Cx. coronator complex to benefit from urbanization highlights the need to better understand the mechanisms of how invasive vector mosquito species are adapting and exploiting urban habitats.