Mansonia titillans (Walker, 1848)




Etymology: not stated [tipulid-like; “Several species of tipulidae (sic) closely resemble it on the wing”]

Mansonia titillans, the type species of the genus Mansonia, can be a severe biting nuisance in parts of its range. Dense populations flourish in Florida, where populations peak in late fall. In the United States, the species geographically overlaps with and is often confused with the morphologically and biologically similar species, Ma. indubitans Dyar & Shannon and Ma. dyari Belkin, Heinemann & Page.

Type locality: Belém, Para, Brazil

Type depository: Natural History Museum, London, England, United Kingdom (NHMUK)

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

ADULT (illustrated): Head: Proboscis with a distinct postmedian white band; Flm1 with patch of broad dark scales medially. Thorax: Postspiracular setae (PS) present; supraalar area (SaA) with elongate scales with simple apices. Wing: With distinct white speckling, scales broad and asymetrical. Legs: Ta-III1 without a median pale ring. Fe-I–III speckled, without distinct preapical white band anteriorly. Abdomen (): VII-Te with row of short spiniform setae; VIII-Te with group of robust spines posteriorly.

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Antenna apically articulated, long with two setae as long as basal part of antenna. Terminal segments: Comb scales with a strong primary spine and a few small spinules; seta 1-VIII short and multi-branched; modified spiracular apparatus for piercing plants; seta 1-X short, multi-branched; seta 4-X with 4 precratal tufts.



Carpenter & LaCasse 1955

Darsie & Ward 2005

Becker et al. 2010

Harrison et al. 2016


Exemplar DNA sequences

Ma. titillans COI: KT766518–37, KY859898–902




Typical immature habitats of Ma. titillans are marshes, lakes or large freshwater ponds that support high densities of aquatic vegetation. Mansonia larvae and pupae attach to the stems and roots of aquatic plants—especially Pistia sp. (water lettuce) and occasionally Eichornia crassipes (water hyacinth) to facilitate respiration.


Both male and female Ma. titillans are often captured in CDC light traps. Although female prefer mammals (including humans), it also attacks birds and alligators in Florida. In Guatemala, 90% of all bloodmeals were from equines and cattle. Female Ma. titillans oviposit underwater, using the spines on the VIII-Te to rasp the underside of the submerged/floating leaves for egg adhesion. The rosette-like egg masses are then enveloped in an air bubble and transported under the leaves using special adaptations on the female abdomen.




Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Lesser Antilles (including Guadeloupe, Saint Kitts & Nevis; Saint Lucia; St Vincent & the Grenadines), Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Romania, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, United States (continental), Uruguay, Venezuela.

Distribution map for <em>Mansonia titillans</em> (Walker, 1848)



VHR: Mosquitoes of the Caribbean

View other WRBU Vector Hazard Reports

Available GIS Models:



IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Walker 1848: 5 (F; Culex)

da Costa Lima 1929b (M*; taxonomy)

Lane 1939: 89 (distribution)

Perez Vigueras 1948: 298 (M*, F*, P*, L*)

Yamaguti & LaCasse 1951b: 27 (M*, F*, L*)

Pratt 1953: 15 (F*, P*)

Carpenter & LaCasse 1955: 107 (M*, F*, L*; keys)

Kutz & Darsie 1963 (P*)

Ronderos & Bachmann 1963b: 61 (M*, P*, L*, E*)

Belkin et al. 1970: 103 (M*, F*, P*, L*)

Belkin et al. 1971: 17 (type locality information)

Heinemann & Belkin 1977c: 529 (distribution)

Linley 1989c (E*)

Rossi & Marinez 2003: 472 (distribution; Uruguay)

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

Becker et al. 2010: 385 (F*, L*; key, taxonomy, distribution, bionomics)

Berti et al. 2015 (distribution; Venezuela)

Harrison et al. 2016 (F*, L*; keys, distribution, taxonomy)






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.

Belkin, J.N., Heinemann, S.J., & Page, W.A. (1970). The Culicidae of Jamaica (Mosquito studies XXI). Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, 6(1), 1–458.

Belkin, J.N., Schick, R.X., & Heinemann, S.J. (1971). Mosquito studies (Diptera, Culicidae). XXV. Mosquitoes originally described from Brazil. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, 7(5), 1–64.

Berti, J., Guzmán, H., Estrada, Y., & Ramírez, R. (2015). New records of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) from Bolívar State in South Eastern Venezuela, with 27 new species for the state and 5 of them new in the country. Frontiers in Public Health, 2, 10.

Carpenter, S.J., & LaCasse, W.J. (1955). Mosquitoes of North America (North of Mexico). Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press.

da Costa Lima, A. (1929b). Sôbre algumas espécies de Mansonia encontradas no Brasil. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 12(Suppl. 2), 297–300.

Darsie, R.F., Jr., & Ward, R.A. (2005). Identification and geographical distribution of the mosquitoes of North America, north of Mexico. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.

Harrison, B.A., Byrd, B.D., Sither, C.B., & Whitt, P.B. (2016). The mosquitoes of the Mid-Atlantic Region: an identification guide (Vol. 1). Madison Heights, MI: Publishing XPress.

Heinemann, S.J., & Belkin, J.N. (1977c). Collection records of the project Mosquitoes of Middle America 9. Mexico (MEX, MF, MT, MX). Mosquito Systematics, 9(4), 483–535.

Kutz, F.W., & Darsie, R.F. (1963). Notes on American mosquito pupae. III. Description of Nearctic subgenus Mansonia and key to all Nearctic Species of the genus Mansonia. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 65(4), 281–286.

Lane, J. (1939). Catalogo dos mosquitos Neotropicos. Boletim Biologico, Serie Monografica, 1, 1–218.

Linley, J.R. (1989c). Egg of Mansonia dyari described and compared with egg of Mansonia titillans (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology, 26(1), 41–45.

Pérez Vigueras, I. (1948). Notas sôbre la Psorophora johnstonii, Mansonia titillans, Anopheles atropos y sôbre la presencia en Cuba de la Psorophora ciliata. Universidad de la Habana (73,75), 2.

Pratt, H.D. (1953). Notes on American Mansonia mosquitoes (Diptera, Culicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 55, 9–19.

Ronderos, R.A., & Bachmann, A.O. (1963b). Mansoniini neotropicales I (Diptera, Culicidae). Revista de la Sociedad Entomologica Argentina, 26, 57–65.

Rossi, G.C., & Martinez, M. (2003). Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) from Uruguay. Entomon Vect, 10(4), 469–478.

Walker, F. (1848). List of the specimens of dipterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part I. London: British Museum.

Yamaguti, S., & LaCasse, W. J. (1951b). Mosquito fauna of North America. Part III. Genera Orthopodomyia, Mansonia and Psorophora. Office of the Surgeon, Headquarters, 8th Army, APO 343. United States. Office of the Surgeon-General. 207th Malaria Survey Detachment.



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