Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

Family CULICIDAE


Compiler and date details

2011-2012 - Karin Koch, Kathleen Nugent, Judith King and Christine Lambkin, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Queensland Australia

1999 - Wendy Lee & Eva Bugledich, CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Introduction

The family Culicidae (as now restricted, excluding the families Dixidae, Chaoboridae and Corethrellidae) comprises the true mosquitoes. The adult females of most species are obliged to take a blood meal to mature their eggs. This blood-feeding is associated with their role as vectors of diseases such as malaria, filariases, and arboviroses including Australian diseases such as dengue, Ross River Fever and encephalitides such as Australian arbo-encephalitis.

The larvae of Culicidae are easily recognised by the lack of prolegs, the fused and distended three thoracic segments and the presence of distinctive mouth (labral) brushes on the head. Larval mosquitoes are much more common in lentic (standing) waters than lotic: in running waters they are restricted to sheltered margins, and here Anopheles may be common. The three major groupings can be recognised in the larval stage: the subfamily Anophelinae lacks a respiratory siphon, having the respiratory spiracles dorsally situated on a chitinised plate, and the Culicinae and Toxorhynchitinae with the spiracles on a respiratory siphon. The latter are predators, occurring only in phytotelmata.

The medical significance of Australian mosquitoes derives from the human-blood-feeding of the female and the ability of several species thereby to transmit disease (act as vectors). Contrary to popular belief, this ability to transmit disease is not confined to tropical mosquitoes. For example, mosquito-transmitted infections of Ross River virus (cause of Epidemic Polyarthritis or “Ross River disease”) have occurred as far south as Northern Tasmania. The mosquito-transmitted disease primarily of dogs, canine heartworm or Dirofilaria immitis, is endemic throughout the continent. Other “tropical” diseases of humans such as dengue can occur in the subtropics, and in the past, outbreaks of malaria extended outside the humid tropics. The risk of native temperate mosquitoes transmitting malaria onwards from a returning infectious traveller are not negligible. Mosquitoes figure amongst important transmitters of the disease myxomatosis amongst rabbits.

The Culicidae are speciose and cosmopolitan. The fossil record is surprisingly poor, with earliest records based on a compression fossil larva from the lower Jurassic, and adults from the Cretaceous. The Australian culicid fauna seems to be predominantly derived from northern elements, with no generic endemism, and many links to New Guinea. The mosquito fauna of inland SW Western Australia was studied by Lindsay et al. (2007).

 

General References

Debenham, M.L., Hicks, M.M. & Griffiths, M. 1989. The Culicidae of the Australian Region. Summary of taxonomic changes, revised alphabetic list of species, supplementary bibliography, errata and addenda, geographic guide to species, synopsis of disease relationships, indexes. Commonwealth Institute of Health. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Monograph Series. Entomologyl Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 12 v 217 pp.

Dobrotworsky, N.V. 1965. The Mosquitoes of Victoria. (Diptera, Culicidae). Melbourne : Melbourne University Press 237 pp.

Kieffer, J.J. in Kieffer, J.J. & Thienemann, A. 1919. Chironomiden, gesammelt von Dr. A. Koch (Münster i. W.) auf den Lofoten, der Bäreninsel und Spitzbergen (Dipt.). Entomologische Mitteilungen. Berlin-Dahlem 8: 38-48

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Debenham, M.L., Griffiths, M., Bryan, J.H. & Marks, E.N. 1988. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Nomenclature, synonymy, literature, distribution, biology and relation to disease. Genus Culex. (Subgenera Lutzia, Neocluex, Subgenus undecided). Genera Culiseta, Ficalbia, Heizmannia, Hodgesia, Malaya, Mansonia. University of Queensland and University of Sydney in collaboration with Commonwealth Department of Community Services & Health. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 9 162 pp.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Debenham, M.L., Griffiths, M., Marks, E.N. & Bryan, J.H. 1989. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Nomenclature, synonymy, literature, distribution, biology and relation to disease. Genus Culex. Subgenera Culiciomyia, Eumelanomyia, Lophoceraomyia. Commonwealth Department of Health, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 8 171 pp.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Debenham, M.L., Marks, E.N., Bryan, J.H. & Russell, R.C. 1989. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Nomenclature, synonymy, literature, distribution, biology and relation to disease. Genus Culex. Subgenera Acallyntrum, Culex. Commonwealth Department of Health, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 7 281 pp.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Griffiths, M., Debenham, M.L., Bryan, J.H., Russell, R.C., Geary, M. & Marks, E.N. 1987. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Nomenclature, synonymy, literature, distribution, biology and relation to disease. Genus Aedes. Subgenera II. Scutomyia, Stegomyia, Verrallina. Commonwealth Department of Health, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 4 324 pp.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Griffiths, M., Debenham, M.L., Bryan, J.H., Russell, R.C., Geary, M. & Marks, E.N. 1987. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Nomenclature, synonymy, literature, distribution, biology and relation to disease. Genus Anopheles. Subgenera Anopheles, Cellia. Commonwealth Department of Health, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 5 315 pp.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Griffiths, M., Debenham, M.L., Marks, E.N., Bryan, J.H. & Russell, R.C. 1989. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Nomenclature, synonymy, literature, distribution, biology and relation to disease. Genera Tripteroides, Uranotaenia, Wyeomyia, Zeugnomyia. University of Queensland and University of Sydney in collaboration with Commonwealth Department of Community Services & Health. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 11 306 pp.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Griffiths, M., Debenham M.L., Bryan, J.H., Russell, R.C., Geary, M. & Marks, E.N. 1988. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Nomenclature, synonymy, literature, distribution, biology and relation to disease. Genera Armigeres, Bironella and Coquillettidia. University of Queensland and University of Sydney in collaboration with Commonwealth Department of Community Services & Health. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 6 124 pp.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Griffiths, M., Russell, R.C. & Marks, E.N. 1980. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Commonwealth Institute of Health. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and University of Sydney. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. I 248 pp.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Griffiths, M., Russell, R.C. & Marks, E.N. 1982. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Nomenclature, synonymy, literature, distribution, biology and relation to disease. Genus Aedeomyia. Genus Aedes. (Subgenera [Aedes], Aedimorphus, Chaetocruiomyia, Christophersiomyia, Edwardsaedes and Finlaya). Commonwealth Institute of Health. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 2 286 pp.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Griffiths, M., Russell, R.C. & Marks, E.N. 1984. The Culicidae of the Australasian Region. Nomenclature, synonymy, literature, distribution, biology and relation to disease. Genus Aedes. Subgenera Geoskusea, Halaedes, Huaedes, Leptosomatomyia, Levua, Lorrainea, Macleaya, Mucidus, Neomelaniconion, Nothoskusea, Ochlerotatus, Paraedes, Pseudoskusea, Rhinoskusea. Commonwealth Institute of Health. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Monograph Series. Entomology Monograph No. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 3 257 pp.

Lindsay, M.A.D., Jardine, A., Johansen, C.A., Wright, A.E., Harrington, S.A. & Weinstein, P. 2007. Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) fauna in inland areas of south-west Western Australia. Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 46: 60-64

Russell, R.C. 1993. Mosquitoes and Mosquito-borne Disease in Southeastern Australia. A guide to the biology, relation to disease, surveillance, control and the identification of mosquitoes in southeastern Australia. New South Wales : Published privately by Department of Medical Entomology, Westmead Hospital, Westmead 195 pp.

Service, M.W. 1993. Mosquitoes (Culicidae). pp. 120-240 in Lane, R.P. & Crosskey, R.W. (eds). Medical Insects and Arachnids. London : Chapman & Hall xv 723 pp.

 

History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
20-Apr-2012 20-Apr-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)