Species: Culex pipiens


Cx. pipiens is one of the principal vectors of SLE and WNV and has been incriminated as a vector of canine heartworm.


Occurs in the northern half of the US. This species has been captured in traps located near urban centers and communities. Traps located near Billings (Yellowstone County) have been a hot spot for collecting this species. This species is often associated with urban communities compared to Cx. tarsalis which is often considered a rural species. Female Cx. pipiens is attracted to and lays a raft of eggs on the surface of water that is polluted with organic wastes such as storm sewer catch basins, ground pools, ditches, animal waste lagoons and effluent from sewage treatment plants. A single raft can have 200-300 eggs. Development from egg to adult is temperature dependent and can require 10 – 12 days in the summer. Females are considered non-migratory in that they return to the same or nearby larval habitat to lay eggs. Cx. pipiens primarily utilizes birds as a blood meal source. However, they will feed on mammals including humans when these hosts are abundant. This species overwinters as an adult.

Identifying Characteristics:

Rounded abdomen, abdominal terga with pale bands on basal border that have marked constrictions laterally. Similar to Cx. restuans.

Distribution Map:

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Mosquito and Vector Surveillance Program

MSU Extension - Department of Animal and Range Sciences

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172900
Bozeman, MT 50717-2900

Location: Marsh Labs, Room 59

Veterinary Entomology Research Associate:

Marni Rolston

Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Entomology:

Dr. Greg Johnson


Dr. Grant Hokit (Carroll College)