culex pipiens

Culex

[kyoo-leks]

Culex is a genus of mosquito, and several species act as vectors of important diseases, such as West Nile virus, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis and avian malaria.

The adult mosquito can measure from 4-10 mm (0.16-0.4 in.), and morphologically is mainly composed of a head, thorax, and abdomen. It also possesses wings, which enable it to fly and act as a very important factor in its disease-spreading abilities.

Life cycle

The developmental cycle takes 2 weeks and is by complete metamorphosis. Eggs are laid singly or in batches, according to the species. They hatch in the presence of water. In the larval stage the mosquito lives in water and feeds on organic matter and plants, then develops into a pupa. The pupa is comma shaped. It does not feed and becomes an adult after one or two days.

Diversity

There exists a vast variety of Culex species. In Panama alone, 88 species were described by 1955.

Subgenera

References

Further reading

  • Galindo, P & Blanton, F.S. (1955). An annotated list of the Culex of Panama (Diptera, Culicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 57(2):68-74. PDF - with links to publications

External links

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