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Northern House Mosquito (Culex pipiens)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Northern House Mosquito



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Image Credit: Arch Baker
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Chilly, autumn nights drive female Northern House Mosquitoes indoors where they overwinter until springtime.



Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
In warm seasons, Northern House Mosquitoes live outdoors, and females take bloodmeals from a variety of animals like cows, horses, birds and squirrels, but they also feed on people and pets if present. Males do not take blood, and both sexes drink juices from plants. Males have feathery antennae. Females have light bands around their abdominal segments. Both are golden brown and light brown.

Activity begins in spring and is at its peak in summer, but females in warm, sheltered places may also feed during the winter when hosts are available. Houses provide both shelter and hosts, so finding a living mosquito indoors during the coldest months of the year is possible. A female that has mated overwinters and lays her fertilized eggs in standing water once spring arrives and the weather has warmed enough to thaw ponds and puddles.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Culicidae
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          Genus: Culex
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            Species: pipiens
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Culex pipiens
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 15mm (0.43" to 0.59")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; tan
Descriptors: flying; biting; itch; feathery antennae
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 11mm (0.4in) and 15mm (0.6in)
Lo: 11mm
Md: 13mm
Hi: 15mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Northern House Mosquito may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Northern House Mosquito. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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