Animalia / Mandulibulata / Hexapoda / Diptera / Culicidae / Aedes / Species:

Aedes aegypti - Yellow fever mosquito:

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INDEX - INFORMATION AVAILABLE

The information in subject headings below is of a general nature on mosquitoes, and Aedes genus. Species specific information is only added where available/appropriate. For this species information has been added in the sections marked *.

GENERAL & REFERENCES

APPEARANCE

LIFE CYCLE

ENVIRONMENT

STATUS

 
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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Alternative scientific names for species

  • Stegomyia aegypti, Culex aegypti (B505)

Common names for species / adults

Culicine Mosquitoes; Aedes Mosquitoes

Names for other life stages

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General Appearance and Characteristics

  • Small, dark mosquito, easily recognised by the lyre-shaped silver-white lines on the thorax and the white bands on the tarsal segments. (D70)
  • The overall life cycle for this species can be completed in 10 days under optimum conditions, but can take as long as three weeks. (D70)
  • Generally, in favourable conditions, the time required for development of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) varies from about seven to 16 days. (B24)

Similar Species

Sexual Dimorphism --

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Associated Diseases
(Information on this species has been added specifically to support the "West Nile Virus" Wildpro volume.
Information on other diseases for which this species is a vector will be fully researched and added in due course.)

Linked Diseases

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References

Species Author

Suzanne I. Boardman (V.w6)

Species Editor

Debra Bourne (V.w5)

References

B24, B46, B73, B241.49.w49, B502, B503, B504, J11.52.w1, J84.5.w2, J91.48.w1, J91.34.w1, J95.69.w1, J124.141.w1, D70

ORGANISATIONS
(USA Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Population Management / Control

Notes

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Management Techniques

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Appearance

Egg

Shape

Size

  • --
Colour
  • --
Egg wall

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Larva

GENERAL CULICIDAE INFORMATION

Shape

  • --

Size

  • --
Colour
  • --
Detailed anatomical comments

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Pupa

Shape

  • --

Size

  • --
Colour
  • --
Detailed anatomical comments
  • --

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Adult

Male characteristics (if different from above)

Shape

Size

  • Small mosquito. (D70)

Colour

Detailed Anatomical Comments

HEAD
  • In Culicines - the palpi of females are very short, while those of the male are usually as long as the proboscis, not clubbed, long, densely haired, and pointed. (B24, B503, D70)

THORAX

ABDOMEN

  • In Culicines the abdomen is covered with scales which often form characteristic markings. (D70)
  • Aedes (Genus) females usually have a pointed tip to the abdomen with the paired cerci protruding. (B503)
  • In Aedes (Genus) species, the female abdomenis tapered apically, with the eighth segment withdrawn into the seventh. (D70)

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Life Cycle

Egg production and development

Oviposition (place and type of egg-laying)
  • This species lays its eggs singly on the inside of containers or tree holes at or above the waterline, or less often on the surface. (D70)
  • Aedes (Genus) eggs are usually laid as single eggs, near water. (B24, B24)
  •  
Time to hatching
  • The eggs of this species hatch quickly when the water level rises. (D70)
  • The eggs sometimes remain dormant for several weeks or months in winter, although breeding may be continuous in warmer climates. (B505, D70)
  • It seems that the eggs require ripening for several days before hatching, and have been recorded to hatch after being kept for over one year. (B505)
  • Hatching of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) eggs occurs after several days to weeks and is temperature-dependent. (B46)
Number of broods
  • Some of the woodland Aedes (Genus) species have a single brood each year and so are particularly troublesome early in the season. (B503)

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Larval Development / Natural Diet / Behaviour

Natural Diet
Physiological Requirements Temperature

Food supplies:

Respiration:

Predation in the wild
  • Fish, insects. (D70)
Behaviour and Activity Patterns
  • Young stages of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) can be transferred to new areas by water flowing intermittently. (B24)
  • Too much rain can wash away larvae and decrease the number of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family), unless pools remain afterwards. (B24)
  • Generally, Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae can rest just beneath the surface without effort; certain non-wetting structures suspend the larvae from the water surface film. (D70)
  • Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae move in two ways, by:
    • jerks of the body. (D70)
    • propulsion with the mouth brushes. (D70)
  • Culicine mosquitoes generally move by using mouth brushes to "crawl" over the bottom and move slowly on the surface. (D70)
  • Culicine larvae:
    • tend to hang head down with only the tip of the siphon penetrating the surface film, suspended from the water surface by the air tube. (B503, D70).
    • feed below surface of the water. (B24)
    • the air tube is closed by chitinous valves which open when the larva goes to the surface of the water to breath. (B24)

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Pupal Development

Natural Diet
Physiological Requirements Respiration
Predation in the wild
  • Probably - fish, insects. (D70)
Behaviour and Activity Patterns

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Adult Reproduction / Physiology / Natural Diet / Behaviour

  • This mosquito breeds throughout the year in the tropics, where generations succeed each other rapidly. (D70)
  • In the southern United States, the reproduction rate is slower during the winter. (D70)
Natural Diet
  • Human blood seems preferable to that of domestic animals. (B505)
  • Most Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) species have a generally preferred group of hosts (e.g. birds, mammals, amphibians), but host preference can vary seasonally and often depends on availability. (V.w55)
  • Female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) species of veterinary and medical importance normally feed on blood and many species require a blood feed in order to lay eggs (other species of mosquitoes feed only on plants and these are usually of little interest as disease vectors or pests. B504); the protein is necessary for the maturation of ovaries. This cycle requires two or more days for the female to digest the blood, lay a batch of eggs, then seek another blood meal; the cycle can be repeated many times in a female's life. (B24, B504, D70)
  • When Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) females feed, a tube is formed by the proboscis and the stylets penetrate the skin of the animal and form a small duct through which saliva is injected into the wound; they also act as a canal through which liquid food is ingested. (B46, D70)
  • Adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) can be fed on fruit juices and sugar water, and males normally feed on a similar diet in the wild. (B24)
  • Adult male Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) (and occasionally the females) feed on nectar and other plant juices. (B24, B503)
  • Female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) can bite through clothing. (B46)
  • The adult females of this species apparently prefer the blood of man to that of other species. (D70)
Predation in the wild --
Reproduction and Life-span
Behaviour and Activity Patterns
  • Aedes aegypti (probably the most domesticated mosquito) seldom travel more than a few hundred metres from the place of emergence. "Their usual flight range is 100 feet to 100 yards, but longer distances have been reported (D70)." (B503, D70)
  • This species enters houses readily, even those that are well screened. (D70)
  • The females are wary in feeding, often attacking around the ankles. They may even crawl short distances under clothing to find a favourable spot to feed. (B505)
  • The feeding behaviour of the female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) may cause great nuisance to their host species and bites can be painful and may become secondarily infected. (B24, B46, V.w6)
  • This species bites principally during the morning and late afternoon. (D70)
  • This species attacks quietly and prefers to bite about the ankles, under coat sleeves, or at the back of the neck. (D70)
  • Female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) tend to hide in dark corners (hollow trees, culverts etc.) during the day and may use these as hibernacula. (B24, B46, B503)
  • Female Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) tend to live longer and travel greater distances than the male. (D70)
  • Female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) seem to be attracted by skin warmth. (B24)
  • Female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) are usually active at night (nocturnal feeders), in twilight hours or in dense shade, although some species may feed entirely during the day. (B24, B46, B503, D70)
  • Adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) may fly fair distances, varying between different species, and may be carried by the wind, or travel in a number of stages. They can also travel in vehicles. (B24)
Detailed Physiological Comments

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Environment

General Habitat type (Biogeograpical / Climate Type)

  • This species is semi-domesticated and larval habitats are almost exclusively in artificial containers in and around human habitations. Typical artificial containers are flower vases, tin cans, jars, discarded automobile tires, unused water closets, cisterns, rain barrels, sagging roof gutters and tree holes. (D70)
  • Larvae have been noted in rot cavities of shade trees near residence, and in Africa the larvae are found in rot cavities of trees in the jungle far from human habitations. (B505)
Typical USA Mosquito Habitats

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Microhabitat (Egg, Larvae, Pupae, Adult)

Egg Temperature

Humidity

Larva
  • This species is semi-domesticated and larval habitats are almost exclusively in artificial containers in and around human habitations. Typical artificial containers are flower vases, tin cans, jars, discarded automobile tires, unused water closets, cisterns, rain barrels, sagging roof gutters and tree holes. (D70)
  • All Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae live in water. (D70)
  • Development of the eggs, larvae and pupae of all Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) species require water. (D70)
  • Vegetation is important for the development of larval Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family). (D70)
  • Habitats of larval Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) vary greatly between species and may include small temporary collections of water (puddles etc.) to marshes. The larvae are rarely found in fast-flowing streams or rivers, or large uninterrupted waterbodies such as lakes. (B46)
  • Aedes (Genus) species breed mainly in woodland pools and salt marshes. (B503)
  • Aedes aegypti breeds primarily in and around human habitations. (D70)
  • All Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae live in water, permanent ponds and marshes, temporary flood waters or woodland pools, water contained in tree holes, leaves of plants, or artificial containers. (D70)
  • Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) larvae are not usually found in flowing streams and the open waters of large streams, lakes and seas. (D70)

Temperature:

  • The development of the larvae of this species takes longer in cooler weather. (D70)

Light:

Pupa
Adult
  • The adults frequently rest inside houses, in closets, cupboards, cabinets, behind doors, and even behind picture frames. (B505)
  • They probably never fly more than a few hundred yards from the water container in which the immature stages developed. (B505)
  • Hibernation / aestivation sites of Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) females are usually relatively dark conditions with an even temperature, such as cellars, barns and lofts under thatched roofs. (B24)

Light:

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Geographical Distribution, Migration etc.

  • This species was originally a tropical species, thought to have been introduced into the Western World from Africa. (D70)
  • Current distribution in the United States includes the south-eastern and southern states extending northward to North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas. (D70)
  • Formerly an abundant species in most southern cities and extended northward along the Atlantic Coast, probably into New England and in the Mississippi basin only as far as Illinois. (D70)

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Status

Intra-specific variation (subspeciation)

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Conservation / Pest / Legal Status

  • This species is a pest of some significance when it occurs in large numbers. (D70)
  • The feeding behaviour of the female adult Culicidae - Mosquitoes (Family) may cause great nuisance to their host species and bites can be painful and may become secondarily infected. (B24, B46, V.w6)

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