Taxonomy 204 Morphology 206 Life History 213 Behavior And Ecology 216 Public Health Importance 222 Veterinary Importance 249 Prevention And Control 254 References And Further Reading 256

Since ancient times, mosquito bites or habitats have been associated with human disease, and, in 1878, mosquitoes were the first arthropods formally incriminated as intermediate hosts of vertebrate parasites. During the past century of research, it has become established that mosquitoes are the most important arthropods affecting human health. They attain their greatest impact as vectors for the organisms causing such well-known human diseases as malaria, filariasis, encephalitis, yellow fever, and dengue. These afflictions are especially severe in developing regions of the tropics. They cause early death and chronic debilitation, which strain the resources of health services and reduce human productivity, thereby perpetuating economic hardship.

Mosquito-borne diseases also persist in industrialized temperate countries. Yet, human discomfort from bites is often the chief concern. In the United States,

MEDICAL AND VETERINARY ENTOMOLOGY Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually to control them for this reason alone. Additionally, large populations of mosquitoes can cause intense irritation and extensive blood loss to livestock and wildlife, resulting in reduced productivity and even death.

Mosquitoes occur in practically every region of every continent in the world except Antarctica. They develop in an extremely broad range of biotic communities: arctic tundra, boreal forests, high mountains, plains, deserts, tropical forests, salt marshes, and ocean tidal zones. Greatest species diversity occurs in tropical forests, but extremely high densities of mosquitoes are common even in the species-poor biomes, such as the tundra. Many species have benefitted from human alteration of the environment, and a few have become domesticated. Because of their immense importance, mosquitoes have been the subject of many major books. Among the more important ones that deal exclusively with mosquito biology are Christophers (1960), Clements (1992, 1999), Forattini (1962, 1965), Gillett (1971), Bock and Cardew (1996), Horsfall (1955), Lounibos etal. (1985), Mattingly (1969), and Service (1990, 1993a). Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association is devoted mainly to studies of mosquitoes. A substantial proportion of the scientific articles in the Journal of Medical Entomology zn&Medical and Veterinary Entomology also report mosquito research. Wing Beats is a trade magazine dedicated to mosquitoes.

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