Aedes

Aedes

[ey-ee-deez]

Aedes is a genus of mosquito originally found in tropical and subtropical zones, but has spread by human activity to all continents excluding Antarctica. Several of the species transmit important human diseases and one species, Aedes albopictus, is the most invasive mosquito in the world. The name comes from the Greek aēdēs, meaning "unpleasant" or "odious", so called because of the diseases this mosquito transmits, including dengue fever and yellow fever. In Polynesia, the species Aedes polynesiensis is responsible for the transmission of human lymphatic filariasis including species of Brugia as well as others.

The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) genome is being sequenced by The Broad Institute and The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). The initial assembly was released in August 2005; a draft sequence of the genome and preliminary analysis was published in June 2007. Annotation of the sequence is being undertaken by VectorBase and TIGR.

Characteristics

Aedes species are typical small mosquitoes. They usually have black and white stripe markings on their body and legs.

Systematics and phylogeny

The genus was named by Johann Wilhelm Meigen in 1818. There are presently some controversial moves afoot to abolish Aedes as a generic name and to replace it with Stegomyia. Some species of Aedes (the Asian tiger mosquito) have been introduced to the US and have spread as far north as Iowa. The genus contains over 700 species (see the list of Aedes species). The genus is divided into several subgenera (Aedes, Diceromyia, Finlaya, Stegomyia etc.), many of which would be elevated to genus level.

See also

References

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