|scientific name Wyeomyia smithii |
Larvae: found only in water-filled pitcherplant leaves (Sarracenia purpurea). Adults fly in bogs.
Unknown in Alberta, likely mid-summer.
The only Wyeomyia known in Canada. Adult (sex is distinguishable only by terminalia): a very small, very dark mosquito. The dorsal scales of the head, abdomen, legs and wings are clothed in blackish scales, which may appear metallic blue. The scutum is covered in dark brown scales. The sides of the thorax and portions of the head and femora are silvery scaled. Larva: are nearly translucent, and are best identified by habitus. The only Canadian mosquito that will be found in pitcherplant.
Eggs are laid inside of dry, new leaves. Larvae diapause in the third instar in response to low light levels. They can be found in the leaves during all seasons, and can survive being frozen inside the leaf. That being said, temperatures below 10°C appear to seriously inhibit growth or kill the larvae. Good snow-cover is likely necessary for larval survival. Adult emergence following diapause is temperature dependent, but seems to take a fairly long period of time (over 50 days at 15°C). The species is likely univoltine in much of its range. Adults do not swarm, and females do not blood-feed. Larval fat body appears to be sufficient for ovarian development, although carbohydrate feeding has been demonstrated in females in laboratory.
Apparently autogenous. Blood-feeding is unrecorded, though apparently possible. Larvae are presumed to feed on insect detritus found in pitcherplants.
The species is currently unrecorded in Alberta, however, it is known from Western-most Saskatchewan. Pitcherplant is founds in much of Alberta, and it is quite possible that this species has simply been missed in the province. It is known from much of much of Eastern Canada, wherever pitcherplant has been recorded.
Comments are published according to our submission guidelines. The EH Strickland Entomological Museum does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.