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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New Classification for the Composite Genus Aedes (Diptera, Culicidae, Aedini), Elevation of One Subgenus to Generic Rank, Reclassification of Theother Subgenera, and with Notes on Certain Subgenera and Species

item Reinert, John

Submitted to: Journal of the Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The very large mosquito genus Aedes has perplexed investigators for 40 years in that is was poorly defined and was recognized as an unnatural assemblage of species. This paper provides, for the first time, reliable features of females, males and fourth-stage mosquito larvae that can be used to subdivide the composite genus into several groups, each of which is easier to identify. This study, conducted at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, was based on the examination of over 65 percent of the currently recognized Aedes species worldwide, as well as all subgenera previously included in the genus Aedes. This action establishes clearly defined genera and a more natural system of classification than before, that will be of assistance in making identifications of mosquitoes by personnel involved in mosquito control operations and/or epidemiological investigations of mosquito borne diseases.

Technical Abstract: The composite genus Aedes is divided into 2 genera, Aedes and Ochlerotatus, based on consistent primary characters of the female and male genitalia. Genus Ochlerotaus is separated into 2 sections. Additional supplemental features of the female and male genitalia, fourth-stage larvae, and pupae are provided for the separation of the genera and sections as well as a discussion of exceptions and comparisons. This classification is based on a morphological examination of specimens of over 65 percent of the currently recognized species and all subgenera previously included in genus Aedes, and representative material of all subgenera and genera of tribe Aedini. Published literature was examined and evaluated. All currently recognized subgenera are assigned to the appropriate genus. The proposed new generic classification provides better defined genera and a more natural arrangement of included taxa.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015
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