A Mosquito Culex (Melanoconion) pilosus (Dyar and Knab) (Insecta: Diptera: Culicidae)
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00000872/00001
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Title: A Mosquito Culex (Melanoconion) pilosus (Dyar and Knab) (Insecta: Diptera: Culicidae)
Series Title: Featured Creatures
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Vork, Diana
Connelly, C. Roxanne Rutledge
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012
Abstract: This small, dark mosquito tends to feed on reptiles and amphibians. It is found in the southeastern United States and many countries in Central America and South America.
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Diana Hagan.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Publication #EENY-521"
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00000872:00001


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EENY-521 A Mosquito Culex (Melanoconion) pilosus (Dyar and Knab) (Insecta: Diptera: Culicidae) 1Diana Vork and C. Roxanne Connelly2 1. This document is EENY-521, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date April 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.u.edu 2. Diana Vork, graduate student; and C. Roxanne Connelly, associate professor, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach, FL; Entomology and Nematology Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or aliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim DeanIntroductionCulex (Melanoconion ) pilosus (Dyar and Knab 1906) is a small, dark mosquito that tends to feed on reptiles and amphibians. It is found in the southeastern United States and many countries in Central America and South America. It has not been identied as a species of medical importance as it has not been shown to vector pathogens like some other Culex species.DistributionCulex pilosus is recorded from Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Venezuela and Virgin Islands (WRBU 2012). In the United States, Cx. pilosus has been reported in many southeastern states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina (Roth 1943) and is distributed throughout Florida (Branch et al. 1958). e species is also reported from Kentucky, as well as the eastern tip of Texas (Darsie and Ward 2005).DescriptionAdultsCulex mosquitoes tend to have relatively blunt-shaped posterior abdomens compared to other mosquito genera and are small and delicate (Marshall 2006). Female mosquitoes of the subgenus Melanoconion can be identied based on two unique features: 1) the thorax possesses a scutum lacking acrostichal setae, and 2) the head has broad, at scales posterior to the compound eyes (at least along the ocular line) (Darsie and Ward 2005). e male mosquitoes in the subgenus Melanoconion can be extremely dicult to Figure 1. Distribution of Culex pilosus as of March 2012. Credits: C. Roxanne Connelly.


2 identify to species, and an analysis of the genitalia is oen necessary (Roth 1943). Positive identication of Cx. pilosus females can be accomplished by observing only three teeth on the cibarial armature (a series of specialised spicules, cibarial teeth, borne on a transverse ridge) (Michener 1944). Both sexes of Cx. pilosus have dark short palps and a long dark proboscis, dark abdomen with somewhat reective bronze or blue-green scales, dark thorax with a lighter patch on the dorsal portion of the mesepimeron, narrow and dark wing scales, and dark legs (Cutwa and OMeara 2012).EggsCulex pilosus females will lay their eggs near ponds or rainwater seepage areas and ditches which may or may not contain vegetation (Putnam 2011). Unlike other Culex eggs, Cx. pilosus eggs lack a corolla (collar) at the anterior end of the egg (Mattingly 1976). Another unique feature of this mosquito is that Cx. pilosus lays eggs singly, or individually, or sometimes in single-layer patches, but not in ras like many other Culex species mosquitoes. e eggs are placed just above the water line and are viable for one month in moist conditions (Galindo et al. 1951).Larvaee larvae of Cx. pilosus have a broad head and long antennae with a large tu at the ends. On the ventral side of the larval head, an oval gill is inserted at the base of the antennae (Carpenter and LaCasse 1955). ey have an upcurved siphon and a curved preapical spine at the end of the siphon. ere are eight pairs of long tus of setae on the siphon, comb scales on the eighth abdominal segment in a single row that appear long and pointed, and gills of two dierent lengths (Cutwa and OMeara 2012). PupaeAs with other mosquitoes, the pupae have two major body parts, a cephalothorax and abdomen. A pair of trumpets containing breathing spiracles is present on the cephalothorax. Culex pilosus pupae have abdominal segments with distinctive setae patterns; the second segments most medial seta possesses 14 or fewer branches (Darsie and Day 2003). e pupal trumpet on the cephalothorax, which tapers gradually, is about four times as long as the width of the trumpet at the tip, and the pinnae are about one-third the length of the trumpet (Foote 1954). Figure 2. Adult female Culex (Melanoconion) pilosus, a mosquito. Credits: Michelle Cutwa, University of Florida Figure 3. Larva of Culex (Melanoconion) pilosus, a mosquito. Credits: Michelle Cutwa, University of Florida Figure 4. Pupa of Culex (Melanoconion) pilosus, a mosquito. Credits: Michelle Cutwa, University of Florida


3 Biology and BehaviorCulex pilosus adults tend to rest inside forests or woodlands during the day, but then y over open land during the night to a dierent habitat in which they feed, only to return to their daytime habitat again in the morning (Clements 1999). e ight patterns of adult Cx. pilosus are not inuenced by wind direction, which is unique among mosquitoes since many species tend to y upwind (Clements 1999). Culex pilosus feeds mainly on reptiles and amphibians (Edman 1979, Clements 1999).Medical ImportanceAlthough many Culex species transmit viruses that cause encephalitis, Cx. pilosus is currently not considered to be an important vector of human pathogens. However, since Cx. pilosus feeds on a variety of hosts, it may prove to play a secondary role in the transmission of some pathogens.ManagementCulex pilosus is not a mosquito of particular concern in terms of management as it does not generally reach pest levels.Selected ReferencesBranch N, Logan L, Beck EC, Mulrennan JA. 1958. New distributional records for Florida mosquitoes. e Florida Entomologist 41: 155-163. Carpenter SJ, LaCasse WJ. 1955. Mosquitoes of North America (North of Mexico). University of California Press, Berkeley. 361 pp. Clements AN. 1999. e Biology of Mosquitoes: Sensory Reception and Behaviour, Vol 2. CABI Publishing, Oxon, UK. 740 pp. Cutwa MM, OMeara GF. 2012. Photographic Guide to Common Mosquitoes of Florida. Florida Medical Entomol ogy Laboratory http://fmel.ifas.u.edu/key/pdf/atlas.pdf (20 February 2012). Darsie Jr. RF, Day JF. 2003. Studies of the Genus Culex Linnaeus in Florida. I. Redescription of the pupae of Culex nigripalpus eobald and Cx. tarsalis Coquillett, vectors of St. Louis encephalitis, and a key to pupae of Culex species in the eastern United States (Diptera: Culicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 105: 100-107. Darsie Jr. RF, Ward RA. 2005. Identication and Geographical Distribution of the Mosquitoes of North America, North of Mexico. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 383 pp. Edman JD. 1979. Host-feeding patterns of Florida mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) VI. Culex (Melanoconion ). Journal of Medical Entomology 15: 521-525. Foote RH. 1954. e Larvae and Pupae of the Mosquitoes Belonging to the Culex Subgenera Melanoconion and Mochlostyrax Technical Bulletin No. 1091, United States Department of Agriculture. 142 pp. Galindo P, Carpenter SJ, Trapido H. 1951. Ecological observations on forest mosquitoes of an endemic yellow fever area in Panama. American Journal of Tropical Medicine 31: 98-137. Marshall SA. 2006. Insects: eir Natural History and Diversity. Firey Books Inc., Bualo, NY. pp. 387. Mattingly PF. 1976. Mosquito eggs XXVIII. Culex subgenera Melanoconion and Mochlostyrax Mosquito Systematics 8: 19-223-231. Michener CD. 1944. Dierentiation of females of certain species of Culex by the cibarial armature. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 52: 263-266. Putnam, AH. 2011. Public Health Pest Control Applicator Training Manual. FDACSDivision of Agricultural Environmental Services. http://www.aes.org/pdf/PublicHealthManual2011.pdf (23 February 2012). Roth LM. 1943. A key to the Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) of the southeastern United States, by male terminalia. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 16: 117-133. (WRBU) 2012. Systematic Catalog of Culicidae. Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit. http://www.mosquitocatalog.org/ (23 February 2012).