Anopheles maculipennis Meigen, 1818




Etymology: spotted wings (Latin)

Anopheles maculipennis, the type species of the genus Anopheles, is the largest Palearctic Anopheles, easily recognized by its charismatic spotted wings. Anopheles maculipennis s.s. has three valid synonyms: An. alexandraeschingarevi Shingarev, An. basilii Falleroni and An. typicus Hackett & Missiroli. Anopheles maculipennis s.s. is widely distributed in Europe, and was once intercepted as far away as in New Zealand.  The Holarctic Maculipennis Group includes 24 species separated into the Maculipennis (Palearctic), Quadrimaculatus (Holarctic) (see An. quadrimaculatus), Freeborni (Nearctic) Subgroups (see An. freeborni), with four other unplaced Nearctic taxa including An. aztecus. The Palearctic Maculipennis Subgroup comprises 10 species: An. artemievi Gordeyev, Zvantsov, Goryacheva, Shaikevich & Yezhov, An. atroparvus van Thiel, An. daciae Linton, Nicolescu & Harbach, An. labranchiae Falleroni, An. maculipennis s.s., An. martinius Shinagarev, An. melanoon Hackett, An. messeae Falleroni, An. persiensis Linton, Sedaghat & Harbach and An. sacharovi Favre. 

Type locality: Germany

Type depository: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France (MNHP)

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

ADULT (illustrated): Thorax: Scutum laterally darkened, with distinct anterior tuft of pale scales. Wing: Predominantly dark-scaled, with more and/or darker scales at crossveins and bifurcations forming dark spots. 

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Seta 2-C closely approximated, single or weakly branched apically; seta 3-C multi-branched. Abdominal segments: Abdominal palmate setae well-developed, but less so on first two segments.



Bates et al. 1949

White 1978

Becker et al. 2010




adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Anopheles - Republic of Georgia - Adult

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Anopheles - Western Palearctic Region - Adult

  adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Genera - Global - Adult

 larval key icon

WRBU - Genera - Global - Larva

 adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Genera - Eastern Palearctic - Adult

 larval key icon

WRBU - Genera - Eastern Palearctic - Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Genera - Western Palearctic - Adult

larval key icon

WRBU - Genera - Western Palearctic - Larva

Exemplar DNA sequences

An. maculipennis s.s. COI: AF491682-736; ITS2: AF342716-22.




Female An. maculipennis s.s. seek large groundwater sites with clear fresh water, floating debris and filamentous algal mats, and moderate to abundant emergent vegetation. Typical sites include large permanent groundwater ponds and lakes, stream margins, mature rice fields and overgrown drainage canals. They have been found at altitudes up to 2300m, and are often found in sympatry with other species of the Maculipennis Complex.


Although An maculipennis s.s. is predominantly zoophilic, it does bite humans and can be locally important in malaria transmission (e.g., Biga Plains, Turkey) and a significant number of arboviruses.



Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Crimean Peninsula, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYRO Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy (includes Sicily), Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Mongolia (or Outer Mongolia), Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People's Republic of China, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia (Central, Northwestern, Southern Districts, Volga), Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkestan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan.

Distribution map for <em>Anopheles maculipennis</em> Meigen, 1818



VHR: Medically Important Mosquitoes of EUCOM

View other WRBU Vector Hazard Reports

Available GIS Models:

An_maculipennis_Dornak_1 Palearctic


IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Séguy 1924: 150 (E*, L*)

Freeborn 1926 (F*)

Bates et al. 1949 (F, L, E*; keys)

Buonomini & Mariani 1953: 178 (A, L, E; taxonomy)

Aitken 1954: 453 (taxonomy)

Horsfall 1955: 92 (review)

Rioux 1958: 106 (taxonomy)

Sicart & Ruffie 1960: 635 (P*)

Polyakova 1970b: 132 (distribution)

Gutsevich et al. 1974: 92 (taxonomy)

White 1978 (taxonomy, review, keys, distribution; lectotype designation)

Korvenkontio et al. 1979 (E*; molecular taxonomy; s.l.)

Sichinava et al. 1983: 420 (distribution; Georgia)

Lee et al. 1987b: 66 (F key, taxonomy, bionomics, distribution, review)

Ramsdale & Snow 2000 (distribution, Europe)

Linton et al. 2002c (mol. tax., distr.; Greece)

Beck et al. 2003: 24 (distribution; Luxembourg)

Linton et al. 2003: 41 (M*, F, P*, L*, E; taxonomy, distribution)

Segaghat et al. 2003b (mol. tax., distr.; Iran);

Nicolescu et al. 2004 (distr., mol. tax.; Romania)

Gordeyev et al. 2004: 21 (distribution; Tajikistan)

Linton et al. 2007 (molecular taxonomy, bionomics, distribution; Greece)

Becker et al. 2010: 170 (s.l.; M*, F*, L*; keys, taxonomy, bionomics)

Becker et al. 2010: 174 (s.s.; E*; key, taxonomy, distribution, bionomics)

Namazov 2014 (distribution; Azerbaijan)

Robert et al. 2019 (distribution, western Palearctic)



syn. alexandraeschingarevi Shingarev

1928: 48 (M*, F). Type locality: Vladimir & Penzenskaya, USSR (LU). References: Zhelochovtsev 1937: 707 (synonomy); White 1978 (taxonomy, review, keys, distribution; corrected specific epithet, Art. 26, ICZN 1964).

syn. basilii Falleroni

1932: 29 (E; as ssp.). Type locality: Maccarese, [Latium], Italy (LU). References: Hackett & Missiroli 1935: 93 (synonymy).

syn. typicus Hackett & Missiroli

1935: 45 (= maculipennis type). Type locality: [Neither type nor type-locality designated]. References: Bates 1940: 353 (synonymy).



Aitken, T.H.G. (1954). The Culicidae of Sardinia and Corsica (Diptera). Bulletin of Entomological Research, 45(3), 436–494.

Bates, M. (1940). The nomenclature and taxonomic status of the mosquitoes of the Anopheles maculipennis complex. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 33(2), 343–356.

Bates, M. (1949). The natural history of mosquitoes. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Bates, M., Beklemishev, W. N., & La Face, L. (1949). Anophelines of the Palearctic region. In M. F. Boyd (Ed.), Malariology: a comprehensive survey of all aspects of this group of diseases from a global standpoint, by 65 contributors (pp. 419–442). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.

Beck, M., Galm, M., Weitzel, T., Fohlmeister, V., Kasiser, A., Arnold, A., & Becker, N. (2003). Preliminary studies on the mosquito fauna of Luxembourg. European Mosquito Bulletin, 14, 21–24.

Becker, N., Petrić, D., Zgomba, M., Boase, C., Madon, M., Dahl, C., & Kaiser, A. (2010). Mosquitoes and their control (Second ed.). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

Buonomini, G. & Mariani, M. (1953). World anophelines belonging to the subgenus Maculipennia Buonomini e Mariani. Rivista di Malariologia, 32, 173–188.

Falleroni, D. (1932). Zooprofilassi e sua applicazione in Ardea (Argo Romano) diverse razze di Anopheles maculipennis. Brunsvigae [=Brunswick].

Freeborn, S.B. (1926). The mosquitoes of California. University of California Publications, Technical Bulletins, Entomology, 3, 333–460.

Gordeyev, M.I., Yezhov, M.N., Zvanstov, A.B., Goryacheva, I.I., Shaikevich, Y.V., Karimov, S.S., & Kadamov, D.S. (2004). Amendment to the list of Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes of Tadjikistan and the predominant types of vectors in the current foci of malaria in the Republic. Meditsinskaia Parazitologiia i Parizarnye Bolezni, -3, 16–21.

Gutsevich, A.V., Monchadskii, A.S., & Shtakel’berg, A.A. (1974). Fauna of the USSR. New series No. 100 Diptera. Vol. III, No. 4. Mosquitoes. Family Culicidae. Jerusalem, Israel: Keter Publishing House Jerusalem Ltd. (Original work published 1971).

Hackett, L.W., & Missiroli, A. (1935). The varieties of Anopheles maculipennis and their relation to the distribution of malaria in Europe. Rivista di Malariologia, 14(1), 45–109.

Horsfall, W.R. (1955). Mosquitoes. Their bionomics and relation to disease. New York, NY: Hafner Publishing Company. (Reprinted 1972).

Korvenkontio, P., Lokki, J., Saura, A., & Ulmanen, I. (1979). Anopheles maculipennis complex (Diptera: Culicidae) in northern Europe: species diagnosis by egg structure and enzyme polymorphism. Journal of Medical Entomology, 16(2), 169–170.

Linton, Y.-M., Samanidou-Voyadjoglou, A. & Harbach, R.E. (2002c) Ribosomal ITS2 sequence data for Anopheles maculipennis and An. messeae in northern Greece, with a critical assessment of previously published sequences. Insect Molecular Biology, 11(4), 379–383.

Linton, Y.-M., Smith, L., Koliopoulos, G., Samanidou-Voyadjoglou, A., Zounos, A.K., & Harbach, R.E. (2003). Morphological and molecular characterization of Anopheles (Anopheles) maculipennis Meigen, type species of the genus and nominotypical member of the Maculipennis Complex. Systematic Entomology, 28(1), 39–55.

Linton, Y.-M., Smith, L., Koliopoulos, G., Zounos, A.K., Samanidou-Voyadjoglou, A., Patsoula, E., & Harbach, R.E. (2007). The Anopheles (Anopheles) maculipennis complex (Diptera: Culicidae) in Greece. Journal of Natural History, 41(41–44), 2683–2699.

Namazov, N. D. (2014). The distribution of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Entomological Review, 92, 280–282.

Nicolescu, G., Linton, Y.-M., Vladimirescu, A., Howard, T. M., & Harbach, R.E. (2004). Mosquitoes of the Anopheles maculipennis group (Diptera: Culicidae) in Romania, with the discovery and formal recognition of a new species based on molecular and morphological evidence. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 94, 525–535.

Polyakova, P. E. (1970b). Records of the bloodsucking mosquito fauna of Northern Siberia (Diptera, Culicinae). In A.I. Cherepanov (Ed.), Fauna Sibiri (pp. 132–137): Akademia Nauk SSR.

Ramsdale, C.D., & Snow, K. (2000). Distribution of the genus Anopheles in Europe. European Mosquito Bulletin, 7, 1–26.

Rioux, J. A. (1958). Les culicides du Midi Mediterraneen étude systematique et écologique. Encyclopedie Entomologique (A), 35, 1–303.

Robert, V., Günay, F., Le Goff, G., Boussès, P., Sulesco, T., Khalin, A., Medlock, J.M., Kampen, H., Petrić, D. & F. Schaffner. (2019). Distribution chart for Euro-Mediterranean mosquitoes (western Palaearctic region). Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association, 37, 1–28.

Samanidou-Voyadjoglou, A., & Harbach, R. E. (2001). Keys to the adult female mosquitoes (Culicidae) of Greece. European Mosquito Bulletin, 10, 13-20.

Sedaghat, M.M., Linton, Y.-M., Oshaghu, M.A., Vatandoost, H., & Harbach, R.E. (2003b). The Anopheles maculipennis complex in Iran: molecular characterization and recognition of a new species. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 93(6), 527–535.

Séguy, E. (1924). Les moustiques de l'Afrique Mineure, de l'Egype et de la Syrie. Encyclopedie Entomologique (A), 1, 1–257.

Shamrai, A.F., & Gutsevich, A.V. (1974). Discovery of the mosquito Toxorhynchites christophi new record (Diptera,) in the Khabarovsk Krai USSR with a description of the male. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie, 53(2), 427–428.

Shingarev, N.I. (1928). Notes on Culicidae III. Tropichenskai Meditsina I Veterinariia (Moscow), 6, 47–53.

Sicart, M., & Ruffie, J. (1960). Étude sur les nymphes des culicines du sous-bassin Aquitain. Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparee, 35, 631–647.

Sichinava, S.G., Stegni, V.N., & Sipovich, N.G. (1983). The prevalence and biology of Anopheles maculipennis Meig., 1818 in Western Georgia. Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, 112(2), 417–420.

White, G.B. (1978). Systematic reappraisal of the Anopheles maculipennis complex. Mosquito Systematics, 10(1), 13–44.

Zhelochovtsev, A.N. (1937). Notes sur la synonymie des Anophèles paléarctiques. Medical Parasitology (Moscow), 6, 707–709.



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