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Culex quinquefasciatus

culex quinquefasciatus, culex quinquefasciatus life cycle
Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823 originally named Culex fatigans, commonly known as the southern house mosquito, is a medium-sized mosquito found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world It is the vector of Wuchereria bancrofti, avian malaria, and arboviruses including St Louis encephalitis virus, Western equine encephalitis virus, zika virus and West Nile virus It is taxonomically regarded as a member of the Culex pipiens species complex Its genome was sequenced in 2010, and was shown to have 18,883 protein-coding genes


  • 1 Description
  • 2 Lifecycle
  • 3 As a vector
  • 4 Bionomics
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Adult C quinquefasciatus is a medium-sized mosquito and is brown in colour The body is about 396 to 425 mm long While the main body is brown, the proboscis, thorax, wings, and tarsi are darker than the rest of the body The head is light brown with the lightest portion in the center The antennae and the proboscis are about the same length, but in some cases, the antennae are slightly shorter than the proboscis The flagellum has 13 segments that may have few or no scales The scales of the thorax are narrow and curved The abdomen has pale, narrow, rounded bands on the basal side of each tergite Males can be differentiated from females in having large palps and feathery antennae

The larva has a short and stout head The mouth brushes have long yellow filaments used for filtering organic materials The abdomen consists of eight segments, the siphon, and the saddle Each segment has a unique setae pattern The siphon is on the dorsal side of the abdomen, and is four times longer than its breadth The siphon has multiple setae tufts The saddle is barrel-shaped and located on the ventral side of the abdomen with four long anal papillae protruding from the posterior end


Mature C quinquefasciatus females fly at night to nutrient-rich standing water to lay eggs The larvae feed on organic material in the water and require between five and eight days to complete their development at 30 °C The larvae pass through four larval instars, and towards the end of the fourth instar, they stop eating and undergo moulting to give rise to pupae After 36 hours at 27 °C, adults emerge The exact timing of development can vary depending on temperature Both males and females take sugar meals from plants But after mating, the female seeks a blood meal on mammals and birds Ingested blood is necessary for egg development A single female can lay up to five rafts of eggs in a lifetime, with each raft containing thousands of eggs The exact number varies depending on climatic conditions

As a vector

The southern house mosquito can transmit zoonotic diseases that affect humans and wild and domestic animals, such as lymphatic filariasis, avian malaria, St Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, and West Nile fever, and may be a vector of the Zika virus It causes infection through biting during blood meal In the southern US, it is the primary vector of St Louis encephalitis virus In India and Southeast Asia, it is the primary vector of Wuchereria bancrofti, a nematode that causes lymphatic filariasis It acts as an intermediate host for the helminth parasite by harbouring the larval stages It also transmits Plasmodium relictum, a malarial parasite of birds, and is its principal vector in Hawaii It is the definitive host for the malarial parasite as it harbours the sexual cycle


It breeds profusely in dirty water collections, including stagnant drains, cesspools, septic tanks with leaks, burrow pits, and almost all organic polluted water collections In optimum temperature and humidity, the lifecycle will be completed in seven days, passing through the egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages

The C quinquefasciatus shows a preference to feed on the blood of birds but will also commonly bite humans It rests in trees and high places


  1. ^ ‘Very bad news for Brazil’: Zika virus found in second mosquito species by STEPHANIE NOLEN RIO DE JANEIRO — The Globe published on July 21, 2016
  2. ^ a b c Hill, Stephanie; Connelly, Roxanne 2009 "Features Creatures: Southern house mosquito" University of Florida Retrieved 19 March 2014 
  3. ^ Turell, MJ 2012 "Members of the Culex pipiens complex as vectors of viruses" Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 28 4 Suppl: 123–6 PMID 23401952 
  4. ^ Arensburger, P; Megy, K; Waterhouse, R M; Abrudan, J; Amedeo, P; Antelo, B; Bartholomay, L; Bidwell, S; Caler, E; Camara, F; Campbell, C L; Campbell, K S; Casola, C; Castro, M T; Chandramouliswaran, I; Chapman, S B; Christley, S; Costas, J; Eisenstadt, E; Feschotte, C; Fraser-Liggett, C; Guigo, R; Haas, B; Hammond, M; Hansson, B S; Hemingway, J; Hill, S R; Howarth, C; Ignell, R; Kennedy, R C; Kodira, C D; Lobo, N F; Mao, C; Mayhew, G; Michel, K; Mori, A; Liu, N; Naveira, H; Nene, V; Nguyen, N; Pearson, M D; Pritham, E J; Puiu, D; Qi, Y; Ranson, H; Ribeiro, J M C; Roberston, H M; Severson, D W; Shumway, M; Stanke, M; Strausberg, R L; Sun, C; Sutton, G; Tu, Z; Tubio, J M C; Unger, M F; Vanlandingham, D L; Vilella, A J; White, O; White, J R; Wondji, C S; Wortman, J; Zdobnov, E M; Birren, B; Christensen, B M; Collins, F H; Cornel, A; Dimopoulos, G; Hannick, L I; Higgs, S; Lanzaro, G C; Lawson, D; Lee, N H; Muskavitch, M A T; Raikhel, A S; Atkinson, P W 2010 "Sequencing of Culex quinquefasciatus Establishes a Platform for Mosquito Comparative Genomics" Science 330 6000: 86–88 doi:101126/science1191864 PMC 3740384  PMID 20929810 
  5. ^ "Brown House Mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus" OzAnimalscom Retrieved 19 March 2014 
  6. ^ Kathy Keatley Garvey 2016 Are Culex Mosquitoes Potential Vectors of the Zika Virus Bug Squad, Happenings in the Insect World, http://ucanredu/blogs/blogcore/postdetailcfmpostnum=20369, March 2, 2016
  7. ^ Albuquerque, Cleide MR; Cavalcanti, Vânia MS; Melo, Maria Alice V; Verçosa, Paulo; Regis, Lêda N; Hurd, Hilary 1999 "Bloodmeal microfilariae density and the uptake and establishment of Wuchereria bancrofti infections in Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes aegypti" Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 94 5: 591–596 doi:101590/S0074-02761999000500005 PMID 10464399 
  8. ^ Farajollahi, Ary; Fonseca, Dina M; Kramer, Laura D; Marm Kilpatrick, A October 2011 ""Bird biting" mosquitoes and human disease: A review of the role of Culex pipiens complex mosquitoes in epidemiology" Infection, Genetics and Evolution 11 7: 1577–1585 doi:101016/jmeegid201108013 PMC 3190018  PMID 21875691 
  9. ^ Prada, Paulo 2016 "Research indicates another common mosquito may be able to carry Zika" Reuters 

External links

  • "Culex quinquefasciatus" VectorBase Archived from the original on 2010-07-18 
  • Disease monger
  • Identification guide at University of Florida
  • NSW Arbovirus Surveillance & Vector Monitoring Program
  • Taxonomy at UniProt

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Culex quinquefasciatus

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