Bruce V Hofkin

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

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Publications (3)3.96 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Many mosquito species take bloodmeals predominantly from either birds or mammals. Other mosquito species are less host-specific and feed readily on both. Furthermore, some species tend to alter their feeding patterns over the course of the year; early in the mosquito season such species may feed primarily on a particular host type, and subsequently take an increasingly larger proportion of their bloodmeals from an alternative host type as the season progresses. We have examined the feeding patterns of the three mosquito species found in Bernalillo County, NM: Culex quinquefasciatus (Say), Culex tarsalis (Coquillett), and Aedes vexans (Meigen). Specifically, we seek to determine if any of these species displays a seasonal shift in terms of its host utilization pattern. Our analysis focuses on these three species because they are all considered to be competent vectors for the West Nile virus (WNV). Our current data for Cx. quinquefasciatus suggest that unlike elsewhere in its range, this species increases its proportion of avian bloodmeals as the season progresses. Alternatively, Ae. vexans feeds primarily on mammals, whereas Cx. tarsalis appears to feed on both mammals and birds throughout the mosquito season. A more complete understanding of the feeding habits of these three mosquito species may help to clarify the transmission dynamics of WNV in Bernalillo County.
    Journal of Medical Entomology 01/2014; 51(1):264-8. · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes vexans Meigen are two of the most abundant mosquitoes in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, USA. In this study, a polymerase chain reaction based methodology was used to identify the sources of blood meals taken by these two species. Ae. vexans was found to take a large proportion of its meals from mammals. Although less specific in terms of its blood meal preferences, Cx. quinquefasciatus was found to feed more commonly on birds. The results for Ae. vexans are similar to those reported for this species in other parts of their geographic range. Cx. quinquefasciatus appears to be more variable in terms of its host feeding under different environmental or seasonal circumstances. The implications of these results for arbovirus transmission are discussed.
    Journal of Insect Science 01/2013; 13:75. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed the post-blood meal flight distance of four mosquito species in a unique environment using blood meal analysis. Mosquitoes were trapped at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, NM, and the blood source of blood-engorged mosquitoes was identified. The distance from the enclosure of the animal serving as a blood source to the trap site was then determined. We found that mosquitoes captured at the zoo flew no more than 170 m with an average distance of 106.7 m after taking a blood meal. This is the first study in which the flight distance of wild mosquitoes has been assessed using blood meal analysis and the first in which zoo animals have served as the exclusive source of blood meals.
    Journal of Vector Ecology 06/2012; 37(1):83-9. · 1.23 Impact Factor