Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823




Etymology: five banded (L); “abdomen cinereous; tergum with five black, broad, fasciae”

Together with Cx. pipiens Linneaus, Cx. quinquefasciatus belongs to the Pipiens Subgroup. It has a complex taxonomic history and 40 valid synonyms. The male genitalia is the only reliable morphological character to differentiate these two species. Hybridization is frequent where the two species ranges overlap, typically sub-tropical to temperate zones. Hybrid offspring often display characteristics of both species. Culex quinquefasciatus is commonly found in tropical to sub-tropical climates and reports from temperate zones may be Cx. pipiens hybrids.

Type locality: Mississippi River, United States

Type depository: Type non-existent (NE)

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

ADULT (illustrated): Head: Head: Proboscis without distinct median pale band. Thorax: Postspiracular scales absent; prealar scales absent; lower mesepimeron with one seta; C-I with a few dark scales; scutal integument yellowish or pale brown. Legs: Ta-I–III entirely dark.  Anterior surface of Fe-I, Fe-II and Ti-I–III without median longitudinal pale stripes. Wings: Wing entirely dark-scaled; vein R2+3 short, <0.25 length of cell R2. Abdomen: Terga bands with pale yellowish basal bands; abdominal sterna not banded.

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Seta 1-C relatively long, slender; seta 5-C usually 4–8 branched; setae 5,6-C 4–6 branched. Thorax: Seta 1-M usually single. Abdominal segments: Sum of branches of seta 1-III–IV on one side <10; seta 1-III,IV usually double, relatively short, not reaching margin of following segment; seta 6-VI usually double. Terminal segments: Comb with comb scales evenly fringed from sides to apex; siphon/saddle index <3.5; siphon wider medially; pecten with 10–18 pecten spines (PS); distal PS with 2–5 basal denticles; seta 1-S relatively long, longer than diameter of siphon (S) at point of insertion; seta 1-S usually with 4 pairs, 1a-S near distal pecten spine, 1c-S not in line with other setae; seta 1-X usually single.



Carpenter & LaCasse 1955

Dodge 1966

Ramalingam 1976

Bohart & Washino 1978

Harbach 1988

Lee et al. 1989a

Darsie & Pradhan 1990

Jupp 1996

Tanaka 2004a

Rattanarithikul et al. 2005

Darsie & Ward 2005

Becker et al. 2010

Harrison et al. 2016



adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Culex (Cux.) - Neotropical Region – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Culex (Cux.) - Neotropical Region – Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Culex (Cux.) - Eastern Palearctic Region – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Culex (Cux.) - Eastern Palearctic Region – Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Culex (Cux.) - Afrotropical Region (East Africa) - Adult

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Culex (Cux.) - Afrotropical Region (West Africa) - Adult

Exemplar DNA sequences

Cx. quinquefasciatus COI: KJ012164–65, FJ210909–10, FJ210901, KJ012166–73, KJ012162

Cx. quinquefasciatus whole genome: GCF_000209185.1




Culex quinquefasciatus immatures are commonly associated with humans in both domestic and peri-domestic habitats. Typical habitats are organically rich waters, including sewers, ground pools, ditches, agriculture seepage pits, and sewage treatment plant holding tanks. Female Cx. quinquefasciatus lay their eggs in loosely cemented oval rafts of ˜100 eggs. The eggs are highly sensitive to desiccation, and normally hatch within 24–30 hours.


After emergence, both males and females take sugar meals from plants. Culex quinquefasciatus is autogenous, and females are able to lay their first batch of eggs without needing a blood meal. Although primarily anthropophilic and closely associated with humans, Cx. quinquefasciatus will feed opportunistically on a wide variety of hosts, including birds, domestic animals and small mammals. Females feed mostly at night, both indoors and outdoors.



Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, Borneo, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands (Polynesia), Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Curacao, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel (and Gaza Strip & West Bank), Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar (includes Glorioso & Juan De Nova Is), Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Wake Island), Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, People's Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Republic of South Africa, Reunion, Russia, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa (Ind. State of Samoa; American Samoa; Western Samoa), São Tomé & Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Sint Maarten, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan & South Sudan, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, United States (continental, Hawaiʻi), Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, Yemen, Zambia.

Distribution map for <em>Culex quinquefasciatus</em> Say, 1823



VHR: Southern US and Northern Mexico

VHR: Mosquito Activity Forecast US-Mexico Border October 2019

VHR: West Nile Virus CONUS

View other WRBU Vector Hazard Reports

Available GIS Models:

Cx_quinquefasciatus_Nyari_1 Global

Cx_quinquefasciatus_Samson_1 South & Central America


IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Say 1823: 10 (A; as sp.)

Giles 1902 (F*) (as fatigans Wiedemann)

Banks 1908 (F*, P*, L*, E*; as fatigans)

Bancroft 1908: 31 (M, F; "House Mosquito"; as fatigans)

Bancroft 1908: 50 (M, F; as genus Taeniorhynchus acer; "Golden Mosquito")

Macfie & Ingram 1922 (F*) (as fatigans)

Barraud 1924m (L*; as fatigans); Gerry 1932 (F*)

Bohart & Ingram 1946b (M*, L*; bionomics)

LaCasse & Yamaguti 1950: 220 (M*, F*, L*; bionomics, distribution, taxonomy)

Darsie 1951: 35 (P*)

Christophers 1951 (F*)

Yamaguti & LaCasse 1951c: 49 (M*, F*, L*)

Carpenter & LaCasse 1955: 286 (M*, F*, L*; keys)

Iyengar & Menon 1955 (distribution)

Mattingly & Brown 1955: 86 (taxonomy)

Barr 1957: 153 (taxonomy)

Karisa, et al. 2021 (bionomics)

Bohart 1957 (1956): 77 (M*, F, L*)

Bohart & Washino 1957: 463 (L*)

Hara 1957: 55 (F*)

Stone 1957 (1956)a: 342 (taxonomy)

Belkin 1962: 195 (M*, F, P*, L*; taxonomy)

Belkin 1962: 8 (distribution)

Belkin et al. 1966: 4 (restriction of type locality)

Dodge 1966: 370 (1st instar L*; key)

Bram 1967b: 192 (M*, F*, P*, L*; bionomics, distribution, taxonomy; as pipiens subspecies)

Belkin 1968a: 68 (M, F, P, L; taxonomy, distribution)

Belkin et al. 1970: 73 (M*, F, P*, L*; as species)

Basio 1971b: 57 (M*; bionomics; as pipiens subspecies)

Lambrecht & van Someren 1971: 483 (distribution)

Baisas 1974: 95 (M, F*, P, L*; taxonomy, bionomics, distribution; Philippines)

White 1975: 319 (taxonomy)

Tanaka et al. 1975c: 219 (distribution)

Sirivanakarn 1976: 30 (M*, F*, P*, L*; distribution; as valid species)

Ramalingam 1976: 307 (taxonomy, bionomics, keys., distribution; Samoa & Tonga)

Belkin 1977b: 45 (nomenclatural review)

Iglisch 1977: 271 (M*)

Brunhes 1977a (distribution; Comoros Island)

Rodhain et al. 1977 (distribution)

Taylor & Maffi 1978: 182 (distribution)

Sirivanakarn & White 1978: 362 (M*, F*, P*, L*; neotype designation)

Bohart & Washino 1978: 126 (M*, F, L*; keys, distribution)

Tanaka et al. 1979: 141 (M*, F*, L*; as pipiens subspecies)

Harbach, Dahl & White 1985 (F*)

Ahmed 1987 (distribution; Bangladesh)

Zaim 1987: 568 (distribution)

Harbach 1988: 31 (M*, F, P*, L*; taxonomy, complete synonym, keys, bionomics, distribution)

Lee et al. 1989a: 166 (F key, taxonomy, bionomics, distribution, review)

Darsie & Pradhan 1990 (F, L; taxonomy, keys, bionomics, distribution; Nepal)

Suleman et al. 1993 (distribution; Pakistan)

Abdullah & Merdan 1995 (distribution; Saudi Arabia)

Jupp 1996 (M*, F*; key)

Whelan & Hapgood 2000 (bionomics, distribution; East Timor)

Pena et al. 2003 (distribution; Dominican Republic)

Ree 2003: 40 (distribution; remove Korea)

Rossi & Martínez 2003: 472 (distribution; Uruguay)

Toto et al. 2003: 344 (distribution; Equatorial Guinea)

Derraik 2004 (distribution; New Zealand)

Tanaka 2004a: 17 (P*; taxonomy, key)

Rattanarithikul et al. 2005 (F*, L*; bionomics, distribution, keys)

Darsie & Ward 2005 (F*, L*; keys, distribution)

Suman et al. 2008 (E*)

Becker et al. 2010: 278 (M*, F*, L*; keys, taxonomy, distribution, bionomics)

Berti et al. 2015 (distribution; Venezuela)

Harrison et al. 2016 (F*, L*; keys, distribution; notes 10, 24)

Lutz, et al. 2020 (bionomics)



syn. fatigans Wiedemann

1828: 10 (M, F). Type locality: East Indies [Indonesia] (NMW). References: Séguy 1924: 36 (M gen.*); Barraud 1934: 420 (M*, F, L*); Edwards 1941: 316 (M*, F*), 421 (P); Lane 1953: 344 (M*, F*, P*, L*); Dobrotworsky 1965: 215 (M*, F, L*); Stone 1957 (1956)a: 342 (synonymy); Dobrotworsky 1955b: 41 (hybridization studies); Belkin 1968a: 68 (lectotype designation).

syn. aestuans Wiedemann

1828: 11 (M, F). Type locality: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (NMW). References: Stone 1958a: 186 (lectotype designation; synonymy); Belkin 1968b: 12 (tax.); Belkin et al. 1971: 22 (type loc. info.).

syn. pungens Wiedemann

1828: 9 (F). Type locality: New Orleans, [Louisiana, United States] (NMW). References: Belkin 1968b: 19 (lectotype designation).

syn. acer Walker

1848: 8 (F). Type locality: New Zealand (NHMUK).

syn. cingulatus Doleschall

1856: 405 (A). Type locality: Ambarawa, Java [Indonesia] (LU).

syn. cubensis Bigot

1857: 329 (A). Type locality: Cuba (MNHP). References: Edwards 1932a: 208 (syn. with fatigans); Belkin 1968b: 15 (tax., lectotype designation).

syn. anxifer Bigot

1859: 117 (M*, F*). Type locality: Madagascar (LU).

syn. serotinus Philippi

1865: 595 (M, F). Type locality: Santiago & Valdivia, Chile (NE).

syn. autumnalis Weyenbergh

1882: 23 (M*, F*, P*, L*). Type locality: Primero River, Cordoba, Argentina (?Universidad de Cordoba).

syn. penafieli Sánchez

1885: 213 (M, F; description). Type locality: Mexico City, Mexico (LU). References: Sánchez 1886: 326 (name given).

syn. macleayi Skuse

1889: 1746 (F). Type locality: King George's Sound, Western Australia, Australia (ANIC). References: Lee et al. 1989a: 166 (type information).

syn. skusii Giles

1900a: 292 (M, F). Type locality: Australia (LU).

syn. doleschallii Giles

1900a: 338 (new name for cingulatus Doleschall not Fabricius, 1805).

syn. quasipipiens Theobald

1901c: 136 (F*). Type locality: Sambalpur, Central Provinces, India (NHMUK). References: Bram 1967c (type information; lectotype designation).

syn. fouchowensis Theobald

1901c: 137 (M*, F*). Type locality: Foochow, [Fukien], China [People's Republic of China] (NHMUK).

syn. reesii Theobald

1901c: 145 (M*, F*). Type locality: Hong Kong [People's Republic of China] (NHMUK).

syn. sericeus Theobald

1901c: 147 (F*). Type locality: Hong Kong [People's Republic of China] (LU).

syn. luteoannulatus Theobald

1901c: 159 (A; fatigans subspecies). Type locality: None designated (NHMUK).

syn. trilineatus Theobald

1901c: 159 (A; fatigans subspecies). Type locality: None designated (LU).

syn. albolineatus Giles

1901a: 609 (A). Type locality: Shahjahanpur, [United Provinces], India (NHMUK). References: Sirivanakarn 1976: 33 (lectotype designation).

syn. pallidocephala Theobald

1904b: 73 (F). Type locality: Sennar, Blue Nile, Sudan (NHMUK). References: Edwards 1941: 316 (synonymy).

syn. cartroni Ventrillon

1905b: 429 (M, F). Type locality: Majunga, Moroudara, Madagascar (MNHP). References: Harbach 1988: 31 (lectotype designation).

syn. barbarus Dyar & Knab

1906d: 210 (L*). Type locality: Trinidad [Trinidad & Tobago] (USNM).

syn. zeltneri Neveu-Lemaire

1906: 251 (M*, F*). Type locality: Harar, [Hararge], Ethiopia (NE). References: Edwards 1941: 353 (tax.); White 1975: 322 (syn.).

syn. pygmaeus Neveu-Lemaire

1906: 256 (M*, F*). Type locality: Imi, [Ogaden], Ethiopia (NE).

syn. didieri Neveu-Lemaire

1906: 257 (F*). Type locality: Leopoldville, Belgian Congo [Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo] (NE).

syn. raimondii Tamayo

1907: 36 (M*, F*, P*, L*). In: Tamayo & García 1907. Type locality: Huacachina [desert oasis], [Ica], Peru (LU).

syn. quasilinealis Theobald

1907: 415 (F). Type locality: Adelaide, [South Australia], Australia (NHMUK).

syn. stoehri Theobald

1907: 419 (F*). Type locality: British Central Africa [Malawi] (NHMUK).

syn. christophersii Theobald

1907: 453 (M, F). Type locality: India (NHMUK). References: Bram 1967c (type info.; lectotype designation).

syn. minor Theobald

1908b: 298 (M, F). Type locality: Sylhet & Lungleh, Lushai Hills, Assam & Calcutta, Bengal, India (NHMUK).

syn. aikenii Dyar & Knab

1908: 61 (M). Type locality: New Amsterdam, Surinam (USNM). References: Edwards 1932a: 208 (syn, with fatigans); Stone & Knight 1957a: 43 (lectotype designation).

syn. revocator Dyar & Knab

1909d: 256 (A). Type locality: Hope Gardens, Newcastle, [Surrey], Jamaica (USNM). References: Stone & Knight 1957a: 55 (lectotype designation).

syn. lachrimans Dyar & Knab

1909d: 259 (new name for aikenii Dyar & Knab, not Aiken & Rowland, 1906).

syn. goughii Theobald

1911b: 268 (syntype M only). Type locality: Onderstepoort, Transvaal [Republic of South Africa] (NHMUK). References: White 1975: 321 (lectotype designation; F, paralectotype = univittatus).

syn. fuscus Taylor

1914c: 699 (M; Culicelsa). Type locality: Townsville, Queensland, Australia (NE).

syn. aseyehae Dyar & Knab

1915: 112 (M, F). Type locality: New Providence Island, Bahama Islands (USNM). References: Stone & Knight 1957a: 43 (lectotype designation).

syn. townsvillensis Taylor

1919: 836 (new name for fuscus Taylor, 1914c, not Theobald, 1909b).

syn. hensemaeon Dyar

1920h: 178 (F). Type locality: Los Banos, [Laguna, Luzon], Philippines (USNM).

syn. nigrirostris Enderlein

1920: 51 (F; fatigans variety). Type locality: Tananarive, Madagascar (ZM).



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