(Culex pervigilans, Aedes notoscriptus, Opifex fuscus).
The first two species are of most concern to humans in New Zealand. Culex pervigilans is the common night biter and makes a high-pitched buzzing sound when in flight. It breeds prolifically in any still water such as in water tanks and in tins and bottles in rubbish dumps. It is capable of breeding throughout the year in the more northern parts of New Zealand.
Aedes notoscriptus is a silent mosquito and is the commonest daytime biter in New Zealand. It likewise breeds in still water but prefers more sheltered places for breeding than does Culex. Both species are particularly common and widespread in dull humid weather. Malaria does not occur in New Zealand, and neither of these two mosquitoes is a vector.
Opifex fuscus is of interest because it is a salt-water breeding mosquito. Larvae breed throughout the length of the New Zealand coastline in salt-water pools close to high-tide mark. Adults are robust insects slightly larger than the other two common New Zealand mosquitoes.
by Roy Alexander Harrison, D.SC., Senior Lecturer in Agricultural Zoology, Lincoln Agricultural College.