Topomyia Leicester, 1908



Generic abbreviation: To.

Type species: Topomyia minor Leicester

Etymology: not stated [topo- place or spot (Gr) plus small fly (Gr)]

The genus Topomyia is subdivided into three subgenera: Suaymyia (22 species) and Topomyia (42 species), and the monotypic subgenera Miyagiella represented by Topomyia discors Harbach. Like Malaya species, Topomyia are small mosquitoes that have long central lines of silver or white scales along the scutum. Adult characters separate the genera—Malaya species have bent, hairy club proboscis, whereas the proboscis of Topomyia mosquitoes are unmodified. The morphology of the male genitalia is by far the most reliable character for species recognition.


DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS  (Click photos to view; mouse over and click large photo to zoom in.)

ADULT (illustrated): Head: Proboscis unmodified. Thorax: Scutum with a median narrow strip of broad white, silvery or brown scales. Wing: Upper calypter bare; vein 1A turns abruptly and terminates more or less level of base of mediocubital crossvein. Abdomen: Terga usually with pale metallic markings.

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Maxillary palpus articulated, attached to the maxillary body, occipital foramen slit-like. Thorax: Seta 8-M present; seta 13-P absent; seta 13-T not inserted on sclerotized area with 9–12-T; setae 6-M and 7-T not modified as stout spines. Terminal segments: Pecten present; seta 4-X with a single pair of branched setae; siphonal setae present and variable in number.



Thurman 1959 (Thailand)

Lee et al. 1988c (Australasia)

Rattanarithikul & Harrison et al. 2005 (Thailand)



adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – Global – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – Global – Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – Australasia – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – Australasia – Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – IndoMalaya – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – IndoMalaya – Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – Oriental – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – Oriental – Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – Eastern Palearctic – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – Eastern Palearctic – Larva

Exemplar DNA sequences

To. yanbarensis COI: LC441029

To. houghtoni – 28S rDNA: KF687531, KF687599

To. houghtoni COI: KF687370

To. houghtoni cytb: KF687441

All Topomyia DNA sequences




Subgenus Topomyia immatures found in a wide variety of leaf axils and pitcher plants, where the larvae are browsers, gaining nutrition by rasping at the tissues of their plant containers. Immatures of the predacious subgenus Suaymyia are associated with bamboo habitats, particularly bamboo internodes and stumps. The immature stages of To. (Miyagiella) discors are unknown.


Females of the subgenus Topomyia appear not to blood feedthey are not attracted to animal-baited traps, and have never been reported in human landing/biting collections. Adults have been collected resting in humid, heavy shaded jungle environments, or along the banks of jungle streams. The male holotype of To. (Miyagiella) discors was captured in a light trap in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. In colony, To. (Suaymyia) yanbarensis females laid more than 100 eggs in a single ovicycle. A few eggs per female were oviposited per day, with eggs laid directly into small bamboo bore holes (3–4mm).

Associated Pathogens

*Associated pathogens: This list reports bacteria, viruses, and parasites recovered from, or experimentally passed through this species, and does not imply field vector status.


IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Leicester 1908: 238 (as genus, subgenus)

Thurman 1959b (taxonomy, keys, bionomics; Thailand)

Marks 1971a (metapleural generic character)

Tanaka et al. 1979 (taxonomy, bionomics; Japan)

Lee et al. 1988c (taxonomy, key, bionomics, distribution; Australasia)

Harbach & Peyton 1993 (L mouthparts, phylogeny)

Judd 1996 (phylogeny)

Harbach & Kitching 1998 (phylogeny)

Harbach & Peyton 2000 (phylogeny)

Rattanarithikul & Harrison et al. 2005 (F, L; taxonomy, keys, bionomics; Thailand)

Harbach et al. 2007 (phylogeny, comparative morphology)

Harbach & Culverwell 2014 (taxonomy, bionomics; subgenus Miyagiella; subgeneric comparison)



Suaymyia Thurman [Sua.]

Topomyia Leicester [Top.]




syn. Pseudograhamia Theobald 1910a: 26 (as genus). Type species: Pseudograhamia aureoventer Theobald.



Harbach, R.E. (2007). The Culicidae (Diptera): a review of taxonomy, classification and phylogeny. In Z. Q. Zhang & W. A. Shear (Eds.), Linnaeus Tercentenary: Progress in Invertebrate Taxonomy (Vol. 1668, pp. 591–688): Zootaxa.

Harbach, R.E. & Kitching, I.J. (1998). Phylogeny and classification of the Culicidae (Diptera). Systematic Entomology, 23(4), 327–370.

Harbach, R.E., & Culverwell, C. L. (2014). A new subgenus and species of Topomyia (Diptera: Culicidae: Sabethini) based on a remarkable male mosquito from Sabah, Malaysia. Zootaxa, 3794(4), 575–580.

Harbach, R.E., & Peyton, E.L. (1993). Morphology and evolution of the larval maxilla and its importance in the classification of the Sabethini (Diptera: Culicidae). Mosquito Systematics, 25(1), 1–16.

Harbach, R.E., & Peyton, E.L. (2000). Systematics of Onirion, a new genus of Sabethini (Diptera: Culicidae) from the Neotropical region. Bulletin of the Natural History Museum London (Entomology), 69, 115–159.

Judd, D.J. (1996). Review of the systematics and phylogenetic relationships of the Sabethini (Diptera: Culicidae). Systematic Entomology, 21(2), 129–150.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Debenham, M.L., Griffiths, M., Bryan, J.H., & Marks, E.N. (1988c). The Culicidae of the Australasian region. Volume 10. Commonwealth Department of Health, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Monograph Series, 2.

Leicester, G.F. (1908). The Culicidae of Malaya. Studies from the Institute for Medical Research, Federated Malay States, 3(3), 18–261.

Marks, E.N. (1971a). A metapleural generic character in Topomyia Leicester. Mosquito Systematics, 3(1), 4–6.

Rattanarithikul, R., Harrison, B.A., Panthusiri, P., & Coleman, R.E. (2005). Illustrated keys to the mosquitoes of Thailand. I. Background; geographic distribution; lists of genera, subgenera, and species; and a key to the genera. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 36(1), 1–80. 

Tanaka, K., Mizusawa, K., & Saugstad, E.S. (1979). A revision of the adult and larval mosquitoes of Japan (including the Ryukyu Archipelago and Ogasawara Islands) and Korea (Diptera: Culicidae). Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, 16, 1–987.

Theobald, F.V. (1910a). Second report on the collection of Culicidae in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, with descriptions of new genera and species. Records of the Indian Museum, 4, 1–33.

Thurman, E.B. (1959b). A contribution to a revision of the Culicidae of northern Thailand. Bulletin of the University of Maryland Agriculture Experimental Station A, 100, 1–177.



Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit (Year). Topomyia genus page. Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit Website,, accessed on [date (e.g. 03 February 2020) when you last viewed the site].