Haemagogus mesodentatus Komp & Kumm, 1938




Etymology: mesosome [aedeagus] with teeth (Gr, L)

Haemagogus mesodentatus is a highly competent vector of yellow fever, and it is held responsible for the catastrophic collapse of the Classic lowland Mayan civilization of the Peten Region of Guatemala. It is a beautiful mosquito with blue, green, copper and bronze iridescent scales on its head, scutum, and along the leading edges of its wings, contrasting with its dense silver pleura and violet sheened legs.

Type locality: San Jose, Costa Rica

Type depository:  Linnaean Society of London, London, England, United Kingdom (LU)

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

ADULT (illustrated): Thorax: Scutum with contrasting silver scales in antealar area; postpronotum densely scaled; scutal scales vary from coppery to gold to metallic green and blue; mesopostnotum bare; pleuron with single broad vertical band of silver scales; wing vein R2+3 usually greater than 0.55 of R2. Legs: Ta-II2,3 with white or gray scales on outer surface.

LARVA (not illustrated): Abdominal segments: Seta 12-I present.  Terminal segments: Comb scales 4–20 in single row, not attached to sclerotized plate; seta 4-X with 5 pairs of setae (rarely 6).





Exemplar DNA sequences

Hg. mesodentatus  rDNA ITS2: M95128




Immatures of Hg. mesodentatus are found in tree holes and in cut bamboo. Haemagogus mesodentatus larvae are morphologically very similar to Hg. janthinomys Dyar, except that 420 comb scales attach directly to the eighth abdominal segment in a perfectly straight row, not on the comb plate as in Hg. janthinomys.


Like other Haemagogus mosquitoes, female Hg. mesodentatus are diurnal and seldom leave the forest. Females ferociously attack man in the forest, especially those involved in logging and agricultural practices.



Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama.

Distribution map for <em>Haemagogus mesodentatus</em> Komp & Kumm, 1938



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Available GIS Models:



IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Komp & Kumm 1938: 253 (M*, F*, L*)

Lane 1953: 796 (M*, F, L*)

Stone & Knight 1955: 288 (type information)

Arnell 1973: 46 (M*, F, P*, L*)

Liria & Navarro 2010 (niche model)



syn. gorgasi Galindo & Trapido

1956: 228 (M, F, P, L; as mesodentatus subspecies). Type locality: Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico (USNM). References: Arnell 1973: 46 (synonymy).

syn. alticola Galindo, Trapido & Boshell-Manrique

1956: 231 (M, F, P, L; as mesodentatus subspecies). In: Galindo & Trapido 1956. Type locality: Sumidero Canyon, north of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico (USNM). References: Arnell 1973: 47 (synonymy).



Arnell, J. H. (1973). Mosquito studies (Diptera, Culicidae). XXXII. A revision of the genus Haemagogus. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, 10(2), 1–174.

Galindo, P., & Trapido, H. (1956). Descriptions of two new subspecies of Haemagogus mesodentatus Komp and Kumm 1938, from middle America (Diptera, Culicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 58, 228–231.

Komp, W.H.W., & Kumm, H.W. (1938). A new species of Haemagogus, mesodentatus, from Costa Rica, and a description of the larva of Haemagogus anastasionis Dyar (Diptera, Culicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 40, 253 259.

Lane, J. (1953). Neotropical Culicidae (Vols. I, II). São Paulo: University of São Paulo.

Liria, J., & Navaro, J.-C. (2010). Modelo de nicho ecológico en Haemagogus Williston (Diptera: Culicidae), vectores del virus de la fiebre amarilla. Revista Biomédica, 21, 149–161. 

Stone, A., & Knight, K.L. (1955). Type specimens of mosquitos in the United States National Museum: I. The genera Armigeres, Psorophora and Haemagogus (Diptera, Culicidae). Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 282–289.



Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit (Year). Haemagogus mesodentatus species page. Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit Website, http://wrbu.si.edu/vectorspecies/mosquitoes/mesodentatus, accessed on [date (e.g. 03 February 2020) when you last viewed the site].