Culex sitiens Wiedemann, 1828




Etymology: not stated [thirsty, arid, dry (L)]

Culex sitiens is primarily dark brown in color, with a large median white band on the proboscis, and pale stripes across the abdominal segments and leg joints, giving an almost wasp-like appearance. Originally described from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Cx. sitiens has a complex taxonomic history and 14 synonyms. Culex sitiens is one of six recognized species in the Sitiens Subgroup, which also includes Cx. alis Theobald, Cx. annulirostris Skuse, Cx. litoralis Bohart, Cx. palpalis Taylor, and Cx. whitmorei (Giles).

Type locality: Sumatra [Indonesia]

Type depository: Universitetets Zoologiske Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark (ZMC)

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

ADULT (illustrated): Head: Proboscis with broad median pale area; vertex all brown-scaled. Thorax: Scutum with dark brown scales and small pale scale patches on margins and on prescutellar area; acrostichal setae present. Pleuron with distinct patches of scales; lower mesepimeral setae absent.  Wing: Wing dark-scaled; vein R2+3 shorter than vein R2Legs: Fe-I,II speckled anteriorly; Ta-I–III with pale bands at articulations.

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Seta 1-C evident and flattened; setae 2,3-A subapical on antennal shaft.  Terminal segments: Pecten on basal 0.2–0.34 of siphon; pecten spines with ˜9 fine lateral barbs; saddle longer than anal papillae.



Yamaguti & LaCasse 1950a

Ramalingam 1976

Harbach 1988

Lee et al. 1989a

Jupp 1996

Tanaka 2004a

Rattanarithikul et al. 2005

Becker et al. 2010



adult mosquito key icon

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

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

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

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

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

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

adult mosquito key icon

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

larval key icon

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

Exemplar DNA sequences

Cx. sitiens COI: AB738201–02, AB738205–06, AB738271, DQ154161, DQ154163, DQ310144, JQ728396–98, JQ728400, JQ728402, MK300239, MK300241–44




Females deposit large egg batches (mean 158, range 103–223), and neonates develop to adults in 8–12 days, therefore population densities can rapidly increase. Both males and females are long-lived, and the species is multivoltine. Autogeny was noted in 1% of females fed on high sucrose diets (25% sucrose) in the laboratory, but this was deemed unlikely in nature. Immatures of Culex sitiens occur in sunlit fresh, brackish, and seawater habitats in coastal mangrove and Nipa swamps and tidal marshes, especially where waterbodies are polluted with trash. These can include puddles, ditches, rockpools, ponds, crabholes, water collections in boats, and some smaller trash containers (e.g. cans, jars) close to populated coastal areas. The anal gills of the larvae are short and bulbous, which is believed to be an adaptation to salinity.


Culex sitiens females bite throughout the night with a single peak between 19:00 and 20:00. Although the species reportedly feeds on birds and pigs, human biting rates of 135 bites/person/hour have been reported in Thailand, indicating that it is a significant pest nuisance. In the South Pacific, Cx. sitiens is a ferocious man-biter. Adults are readily caught in light traps, in cow-baited traps and at human bait.



Australia, Borneo, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar (includes Glorioso & Juan De Nova Is), Malaysia, Maldives, Mariana Islands, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, People's Republic of China, Philippines, Polynesian Islands (Howland, Jarvis, Johnston Atol, Pitcairn, Wallis & Futuna), Samoa (Ind. State of Samoa; American Samoa; Western Samoa), Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan & South Sudan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia.

Distribution map for <em>Culex sitiens</em> Wiedemann, 1828



None; View other WRBU Vector Hazard Reports

Available GIS Models:

Cx_sitiens_Dornak_1 Global

Cx_sitiens_Dornak_2 Global


IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Wiedemann 1828: 542 (F)

Barraud 1924m (L*)

Edwards 1941: 296 (M*, F), 417 (P)

Williams 1943: 215 (F*, L*)

Bohart & Ingram 1946b: 18, 32, 81 (M*, F, L*; bionomics, distribution, taxonomy)

Penn 1949b: 80 (P*)

Yamaguti & LaCasse 1950a: 30, 85-86 (M*, F*, L*; taxonomy, keys, bionomics, distribution; Guam)

Iyengar & Menon 1955: 7 (M*, L*)

Mattingly & Knight 1956: 104 (F, L; taxonomy)

Delfinado 1966a: 151 (M*, F, L*; synonym)

Bram 1967b: 239 (M*, F*, P*, L*; bionomics, distribution, taxonomy)

Lotfi 1970: 401 (distribution)

Aslankhan 1971b: (distribution)>

Basio 1971b: 59 (M*; bionomics)

Maffi & Taylor 1974: 207 (distribution)

Baisas 1974: 101 (M, F, P, L; taxonomy, bionomics, distribution; Philippines)

Tanaka et al. 1975c: 218 (taxonomy, bionomics, distribution)

Rickenbach et al. 1976: 96 (distribution)

Sirivanakarn 1976: 95 (M*, F*, P*, L*; distribution)

Ramalingam 1976: 308 (taxonomy, biononomics, keys, distribution; Samoa & Tonga)

Brunhes 1977a (distribution; Comoros Island)

Tanaka et al. 1979: 155 (M*, F*, L*)

Chadee & Bennett 1988 (E*)

Harbach 1988: 87 (M*, F, P*, L*; taxonomy, complete synonyms, keys, bionomics, distribution)>

Lee et al. 1989a: 225 (F key, taxonomy, bionomics, distribution, review)

Jupp 1996 (M*, F*; key)

Whelan & Hapgood 2000

Trari et al. 2002: 331 (distribution; Morocco; as mauritanicus)

Tanaka 2004a: 28 (P*; taxonomy, key)

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

Becker et al. 2010: 366 (F*, L*; key, taxonomy, distribution, bionomics)



syn. impellens Walker

1859: 91 (F). Type locality: Makessar, Celebes [Sulawesi] (NHMUK).

syn. microannulatus Theobald

1901a: 353 (M*, F*). Type locality: Quilon, Travancore, Madras & Shahjahanpur, [United] Provinces, [India] (NHMUK).

syn. bancroftii Theobald

1901a: 367 (F*; as ssp. of Cx. annulirostris). Type locality: Burpengary, Queensland, Australia (NHMUK). References: Stone et al. 1959: 241 (syn.); Lee et al. 1989a: 225 (to syn. with sitiens by E.N. Marks).

syn. gnophodes Theobald

1903a: 163 (F). Type locality: Bruas, Dindings, Malaya [Malaysia] (NHMUK).

syn. somaliensis Neveu-Lemaire

1906: 254 (M*, F*). Type locality: Djibouti, French Somaliland (NE?).

syn. nigricephala Leicester

1908: 149 (M, F). Type locality: Batu Gajah, [Perak], Malaya [Malaysia] (NE).

syn. salus Theobald

1908c: 256 (M*, F*). Type locality: Port Sudan, [Kassala], Sudan (NHMUK).

syn. jepsoni Theobald

1910b: 158 (F*). Type locality: Suva, [Viti Levu], Fiji (NHMUK).

syn. saibaii Taylor

1912b: 28 (F). Type locality: Saibai Island, Torres Strait (ANIC). References: Lee et al. 1989a: 225 (type info.).

syn. paludis Taylor

1913: 56 (F; Culicelsa). Type locality: Townsville, Queensland, Australia (ANIC). References: Lee et al. 1989a: 225 (type info.).

syn. milni Taylor

1914d: 196 (M*, F; Culicelsa annulirostris var.). Type locality: Milne Bay, Papua, New Guinea (ANIC). References: Lee et al. 1989a: 225 (type info.).

syn. annulata Taylor

1914c: 689 (M, F*; Culicada). Type locality: Townsville, Queensland, Australia (ANIC). References: Lee et al. 1989a: 225 (type info.).

syn. salinus Baisas

1938: 204 (M*, F*, P*, L). Type locality: Caloocan, Rizal, Luzon, Philippines (NE).

syn. mauritanicus Callot

1940: 362 (L*). Type locality: Taghjicht, [Grand Atlas Region], Morocco (IPS). References: Harbach 1988: 87 (lectotype desig.).



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Baisas, F. E. (1974). The mosquito fauna of Subic Bay Naval Reservation, Republic of the Philippines. San Francisco: Headquarters, First Medical Service Wing (PACAF), San Francisco.

Barraud, P. J. (1924m). A revision of the culicine mosquitoes of India. Part XVII. Indian Journal of Medical Research (Calcutta), 12, 427–434.

Basio, R. G. (1971b). The mosquito fauna of the Philippines (Diptera, Culicidae). Manila: National Museum of the Philippines. 198pp.

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.

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Callot, J. (1940). Sur quelques moustiques du Maroc. Archives de l'Institut Pasteur du Maroc, 2, 361–365.

Chadee, D.D., & Bennett, H. (1988). Description of Culex sitiens eggs from Oman (Diptera: Culicidae). Mosquito Systematics, 20(3), 370–373.

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Rattanarithikul, R., Harbach, R.E., Harrison, B.A., Panthusiri, P., Jones, J.W., & Coleman, R.E. (2005). Illustrated keys to the mosquitoes of Thailand. II. Genera Culex and Lutzia. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 36 (Supplement 2), 1–97.

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Rickenbach, A., Eouzan, J.-P., Ferrara, L., & Bailly-Choumara, H. (1976). Données nouvelles sur la presence, la frequence et la repartition des Toxorhynchitinae et Culicinae (Diptera, Culicidae) au Cameroun, 2. Genres Eretmapodites et Culex. Cahier ORSTOM. Série Entomologie Médicale et Parasitologie, 14(2), 93–100.

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