Submitted to: The Canadian Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/24/2014
Publication Date: 5/29/2014
Citation: Maki, E.C., Cohnstaedt, L.W. 2014. Crowdsourcing for large-scale mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) sampling. The Canadian Entomologist. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.4039/tce.2014.27. DOI:10.4039/tce.2014.27.
Interpretive Summary: Researchers at the USDA in Manhattan, Kansas used networking to bring mosquito control districts and public health departments together with individual collectors. These individuals were asked to help collect two species of disease transmitting mosquitoes throughout North America. Without networking to contact, communicate and coordinate with the collectors the project would not have been accomplished in a single year. The local collectors played an integral role because of their local knowledge of mosquito habitats, their ongoing surveillance of diseases and introduced species, and their ability to limit mosquito populations; however this network of collectors is threatened due to budget cuts.
Technical Abstract: Sampling a cosmopolitan mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) species throughout its range is logistically challenging and extremely resource intensive. Mosquito control programmes and regional networks operate at the local level and often conduct sampling activities across much of North America. A method for large-scale sampling of two mosquito species using crowdsourcing to network with these local and regional programmes is described. A total of 961 mosquito vector and control districts, health departments, and individual collectors across the United States of America and Canada were contacted in 2011 and 2012 of which 9% positively responded by sending mosquitoes. In total, 1101 unique population samples of Aedes vexans (Meigen) and Culex tarsalis Coquillett were collected throughout their range in these two countries. Aedes vexans outgroup samples were also submitted from Europe and Asia. This is the largest crowd-sourced collection of samples to date.