The presence of West Nile (WNV) and dengue viruses and the lack of recent mosquito surveys in Puerto Rico prompted an investigation on the distribution and abundance of potential arbovirus vectors in the San Juan Metropolitan Area, and their variation with seasons and habitats. We sampled mosquitoes in early and late 2005 in 58 sites from forests, nonforest vegetation, wetlands, and high- and low-density housing areas using ovijars, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention miniature light/CO2 traps, and gravid traps. A total of 28 mosquito species was found. San Juan had potential WNV enzootic vectors (Culex nigripalpus) within and around the city in wetlands and forests, but few were captured in residential areas. A potential WNV bridge vector (Cx. quinquefasciatus) was abundant in urbanized areas, and it was positively correlated with the main dengue vector, Aedes aegypti. High-density housing areas harbored more Ae. aegypti. Container mosquitoes, including Aedes mediovittatus, were more abundant during the climax of the rainy season when most dengue occurs in Puerto Rico. The greatest risk for contracting WNV would be visiting forests and swamps at night. Culex (Culex) and Culex (Melanoconion) mosquito species were more abundant during the transition dry–wet seasons (March–May).
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Vol. 25 • No. 1