Defense Date

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Ghislaine Mayer

Abstract

Avian malaria is a devastating disease that has decimated numerous bird species. This study sought to identify the vectors of avian malaria at four central Virginia Prothonotary warbler breeding sites. Twenty one thousand mosquitoes were collected and Culex salinarius, Cx. erraticus, and Cx. pipiens/restuans were found to be the dominant species at these sites. Geographic factors, such as crop land and forest type, were determined to be potential indicators for species abundance variation between sites. Of the mosquitoes collected, ninety one (0.4%) were identified as blood fed. The blood fed mosquitoes were found to have fed on avian, mammalian, amphibian, and reptilian hosts and a 12.1% Plasmodium infection rate. Of the non-blood fed mosquito pools tested, Deep Bottom had the highest rate of infection (10.5%). Of the species tested, Cx. salinarius, Cx. erraticus, and Cx. pipiens/restuans were determined to be the most probable vectors of avian malaria the four sites.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2010

Included in

Biology Commons

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