Culex tritaeniorhynchus Giles, 1901




Etymology: three-banded, snout (L); proboscis with three yellow bands

Culex tritaeniorhychus is the most widely spread member of the Vishnui Subgroup, which also includes Cx. alienus Colless, Cx. annulus Theobald, Cx. incognitus Baisas, Cx. perplexus Leicester, Cx. philippinensis Sirivanakarn, Cx. pseudovishnui Colless, Cx. vishnui Theobald and Cx. whitei Barraud.

Type locality: Travancore, India

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 broad median pale band; vertex with erect brownish scales. Thorax: Scutum with unicolorous dark scales; acrostichal setae present; pleuron with distinct scale patches; postspiracular scales absent; mesepimeral setae absent; lower mesokatepisternal scales present.  Legs: Fe-I,II dark anteriorly; Ta-I–III with pale bands. Wing: Wing dark-scaled; vein R2+3 shorter than R2. Abdomen: Terga only with basal pale bands. 


LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Dorsal apotome distinctly separated from median labral plate; seta 1-C sharp, tapered; seta 6-C double. Thorax: Seta 4-P usually double. Abdominal segments: seta 7-I double. Terminal segments: Comb scales evenly fringed; siphon long; pecten not reaching apex of siphon; saddle shorter than anal papillae.



Harbach 1988

Lee et al. 1989a

Darsie & Pradhan 1990

Jupp 1996

Tanaka 2004a

Rattanarithikul et al. 2005

Becker et al. 2010



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. tritaeniorhynchus  COI: KJ012243–50, KM350641–69; KM362833–50




Culex tritaeniorhynchus is closely associated with rice agriculture—larval densities are highest in areas of rice cultivation, especially when the rice is high and dense, creating optimal shade levels.


During the rice harvest and hot seasons, where people sleep outdoors, the exophilic Cx. tritaeniorhynchus populations can become exceptionally high, causing a biting nuisance at dusk. Like the closely related Cx. vishnui, Cx. tritaeniorhynchus is highly attracted to cows and pigs, and only feeds occasionally on humans. In India, it is the dominant species collected at cattle sheds and pig sties. Culex tritaeniorhynchus from Japan are distinctly larger, produce fewer egg batches and have longer generation times than strains from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Taiwan. Japanese populations overwinter as adult females. Due to its affiliation with pigs, it is an important vector of Japanese encephalitis virus, and vertical transmission has been noted, with F1 progeny capable of transmitting the virus.



Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Borneo, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel (and Gaza Strip & West Bank), Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar (includes Glorioso & Juan De Nova Is), Malaysia, Maldives, Mariana Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia (Wake Island), Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, People's Republic of China, Philippines, Reunion, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen.

Distribution map for <em>Culex tritaeniorhynchus</em> Giles, 1901



VHR: Medically Important Mosquitoes of EUCOM

View other WRBU Vector Hazard Reports

Available GIS Models:

Cx_tritaeniorhynchus_Nyari_1 Global

Cx_tritaeniorhynchus_Miller_1 Global

Cx_tritaeniorhynchus_Masuoka_1 Palearctic


IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Giles 1901a: 606 (A)

Macfie & Ingram 1922 (F*)

Barraud 1923c (L*)

Kirkpatrick 1925b: 111 (M*, F, P*, L*)

Barraud 1934: 404 (M*, F, L*)

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

LaCasse & Yamaguti 1950 (F*)

LaCasse & Yamaguti 1950: 230 (M*, F*, P*, L*; bionomics, distribution, taxonomy; as summorosus)

Ovazza et al. 1956: 169 (L*)

Colless 1957a: 100 (taxonomy)

Hara 1957 (F*)

Hara 1957: 56 (F*; as tritaeniorhynchus)

Joshi et al. 1965 (distribution; Nepal)

Bram 1967b: 225 (M*, F*, P*, L*; bionomics, distribution, taxonomy)

Reuben 1969: 650 (M*, F*, L*)

Aslamkhan 1971b (distribution; Pakistan)

Basio 1971b: 60 (M*; bionomics)

Matsuo & Iwaki 1972: 349 (taxonomy)

Gutsevich et al. 1974: 382 (M*, F*, L*)

Baisas 1974: 104 (M, F, P, L*; taxonomy, bionomcis, distribution; Philippines; as ssp summorosus)

Sirivanakarn 1975a: 73 (M*, F*, P*, L*)

Tanaka et al. 1975c: 219 (bionomics, distribution)

Sirivanakarn 1976: 129 (M*, F*, P*, L*; distribution)

Rodhain et al. 1977 (distribution)

Tanaka et al. 1979: 100 (M*, F*, L*)

Ahmed 1987 (distribution; Bangladesh)

Harbach 1988: 106 (M*, F, P*, L*; taxonomy, keys, bionomics, distribution)

Lee et al. 1989a: 259 (F key, taxonomy, bionomics, distribution, review)

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

Suleman et al. 1993 (distribution; Pakistan)

Jupp 1996 (M*, F*; key)

Al-Houty 1997 (distribution; Kuwait)

Amr et al. 1997 (distribution; Jordan)

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

Samanidou & Harbach 2003: 15 (distribution; Greece)

Tanaka 2004a: 23 (P*; taxonomy, key)

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

Rueda et al. 2008: 398 (distribution)

Suman et al. 2008 (E*)

Becker et al. 2010: 349 (F*, L*; key, taxonomy, distribution, bionomics)

Namazov 2014 (distribution; Azerbaijan)

Robert et al. 2019 (distribution, Euro-Mediterranean)



syn. biroi Theobald

1905f: 82 (M*, F). Type locality: Bombay, India (HNM).

syn. summorosus Dyar

1920h: 180 (M; as species). Type locality: Los Banos [Laguna, Luzon], Philippines (USNM). References: Colless 1957a: 98 (M*, F, L*; taxonomy, to subspecies); Bram 1967b: 225 (synonymy with tritaeniorhynchus); Sirivanakarn 1976: 129 (taxonomy).

syn. siamensis Barraud & Christophers

1931: 283 (M; as variety). Type locality: Chiengmai, Thailand (NHMUK). References: Mattingly 1956a: 37 (lectotype designation); Colless 1957a: 98 (synonymy).



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Aslamkhan, M. (1971b). The mosquitoes of Pakistan I. A checklist. Mosquito Systematics, 3(4), 147–159.

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. (1923c). A revision of the culicine mosquitoes of India. Part III. Notes on certain Indian species of the genus Finlaya, Theo. and descriptions of new species. Indian Journal of Medical Research (Calcutta), 11(1), 214–219.

Barraud, P. J. (1934). The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Diptera. Vol. 5. Family Culicidae, tribes Megarhinini and Culicini. London: Taylor and Francis.

Barraud, P. J., & Christophers, S. R. (1931). On a collection of anopheline and culicine mosquitoes from Siam. Records of the Malaria Survey of India, 2(2), 269–285.

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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Colless, D.H. (1957a). Notes on the culicine mosquitoes of Singapore. II.- The Culex vishnui group (Diptera, Culicidae), with descriptions of two new species. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 51(1), 87–101.

Darsie, R.F., Jr., & Pradhan, S.P. (1990). The mosquitoes of Nepal: Their identification, distribution and biology. Mosquito Systematics, 22(2), 69–130.

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Gutsevich, A.V., Monchadskii, A.S., & Shtakel’berg, A.A. (1974). Fauna of the USSR. New series No. 100 Diptera. Vol. III, No. 4. Mosquitoes. Family Culicidae. Jerusalem, Israel: Keter Publishing House Jerusalem Ltd. (Original work published 1971).

Hara, J. (1957). Studies on the female terminalia of Japanese mosquitoes. Japanese Journal of Experimental Medicine, 27, 45–91.

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