The mosquito Culex (Melanoconion) cedecei is the sole enzootic vector of EVEV (2-4); rodents, particularly Peromyscus gossypinus (cotton mouse) and Sigmodon hispidus (hispid cotton rat), are the primary reservoir hosts (5-7).
cedecei mosquitoes transmit EVEV between the amplifying rodent hosts (cotton mouse and hispid cotton rat) (2-6) in hammocks of the Greater Everglades ecosystem.
While the snakes have been credited for destroying mammal life in the Everglades, the pythons' new residency in the Keys signifies an even more horrific fate for animals that are already at risk of endangerment, like the Key Largo woodrat and the Key Largo cotton mouse
. Both are easy pray for Burmese pythons.
fontinella are probably the cotton mouse
, Peromyscus gossypinus (Leconte), golden mouse, Ochrotomys nuttalli (Harlan) and Florida mouse, Podomys floridanus (Chapman) (Pearson 1954; Layne 1963; Bigler & Jenkins 1975).
Status and habitat of Key Largo woodrat and cotton mouse
(Neotoma floridana smalli and Peromyscus gossypinus allapaticola), J.
Four additional listed species are at risk in this Florida Keys' module: Key Largo Woodrats, the Key Largo cotton mouse
(Peromyscus gossypinus allapticola), American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus), and nesting white-crowned pigeons (Columba leucocephala).
The cotton mouse
, Peromyscus gossypinus, is known to inhabit undisturbed riparian woodlands and swamps of the southeastern coastal plain.
At the tony Ocean Reef Resort in Key Largo, hundreds of feral cats are fed by residents at two dozen designated feeding stations--yet the cats are helping kill off the endangered Key Largo cotton mouse
. Farther `down the island chain, the federal government has forced builders to stop projects in the path of the endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbit.
Overall, eight species of rodents and one species of insectivore totaling 36 individuals were captured: hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus, 12 individuals in all habitats), marsh rice rat (Oryzomys palustris, 7 individuals), cotton mouse
(Peromyscus gossypinus, 6 individuals), white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus, 3 individuals), pygmy mouse (Baiomys taylori, 3 individuals), eastern wood rat (Neotoma floridana, 2 individuals), deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus, 1 individual), fulvous harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys fulvescens, 1 individual) and least shrew (Cryptotis parva, 1 individual).
The cotton mouse
(Peromyscus gossypinus) is fairly common throughout most of its range from Virginia to Florida, W to eastern Texas and N through Tennessee to western Kentucky.
Some eastern mammals like the cotton mouse
and Baird's pocket gopher have western regional equivalents (white-ankled mouse, plains pocket gopher), but others like the least shrew and swamp rabbit do not.