Aedes vexans (Meigen, 1830)




Etymology: not stated [to vex, annoy, injure, harass (L)]

Aedes vexans is one of the most widely-distributed floodwater mosquitoes in the world. Three geographically structured subspecies are recognized—ssp. arabiensis (Patton) in Africa, ssp. nipponii (Theobald) in southeast Asia and ssp. nocturnus (Theobald) in the Australasian region—suggesting that Ae. vexans comprises cryptic taxa across its range. DNA barcoding efforts in our laboratory support the existence of at least three cryptic species, which is important as the species has been incriminated as vectors of different arboviruses in different geographical parts of its range.

Type locality: Berlin, Germany

Type depository: Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France (MNHP)

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

ADULT (illustrated): Head: Proboscis (P) brown with numerous white scales ventrally; vertex (V) with median narrow scales. Thorax: Scutellum (Stm) with pale, narrow scales. Wing: No pale fringe scales along posterior margin; wing scales sparse, dark and pale. Legs: Anterior surfaces of Fe-II,III speckled with pale scales. Ta-II,III with basal white bands. 

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Dorsal apotome with median spiculose area; seta 4-C anterior to 5-C; seta 6-C single or double; seta 8-C single. Terminal abdominal segments: Comb with spine-like comb scales, basally fringed and in irregular row.



Carpenter & LaCasse 1955

Ross & Horsfall 1965

Dodge 1966

Ramalingam 1976

Bohart & Washino 1978

Jupp 1996

Darsie & Ward 2005

Rattanarithikul et al. 2010

Becker et al. 2010

Harrison et al. 2016



adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Aedes - Western Palearctic Region - Adult

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WRBU – Aedes – Western Palearctic Region – Larva

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WRBU – Aedes – Australasian Region – Adult

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WRBU – Aedes Australasian Region – Larva

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WRBU – Aedes – Indomalayan Region – Adult

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WRBU – Aedes – Indomalayan Region – Larva

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WRBU – Aedes – Oriental Region – Adult

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WRBU – Aedes – Oriental Region – Larva

Exemplar DNA sequences

Ae. vexans COI: AF253041–47, KT358460–62, KY694972–77




Aedes vexans eggs are deposited in the soil in areas liable to flooding, and eggs can survive desiccation and weather extremes for up to three years. Larvae can be found in mainly sunlit habitats including flood pools on prairies and semi-wooded flood plains, ditches, swamps, rice fields, storm water facilities, dredge spoil sites, ditches, drying bogs, woodland pools, elephant footprints, and rarely in containers. Habitats usually have little aquatic vegetation or algae.


Aedes vexans commonly reaches levels of abundance that create significant biting annoyance for man and cattle, its primary hosts. It is dominant biting nuisance in the northern plains of the United States and Canada, as well in the Rhine River valley of Germany. Aedes vexans females are readily attracted to CDC light traps. Mating occurs in swarms, and copulation occurs on the wing. Aedes vexans overwinters as eggs in temperate climates. In Canadian populations, egg batches are large ( 108–182 eggs), with full development from egg to adult taking 8–10 days. Adults have been reported at 113 days old. Longevity increases arboviral transmission potential and, as the species is multivoltine, it can be present in high numbers and be a formidable disease vector.



Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Corsica, Crimean Peninsula, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France (includes Corsica), FYRO Macedonia, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece (includes Crete), Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia (includes Java, Flores, Kalimantan, Timor), Iran, Iraq, Italy (includes Sardinia & Sicily), Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Laos, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mariana Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia (Wake Island), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, People's Republic of China, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Samoa (Ind. State of Samoa; American Samoa; Western Samoa), Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain (includes Balearic Islands), Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States (Alaska, continental, Hawaiʻi), Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen

Distribution map for <em>Aedes vexans</em> (Meigen, 1830)



VHR: Mosquito-borne Diseases of the Middle East

View other WRBU Vector Hazard Reports

Available GIS Models

Ae. vexans_Nyari_1 Global


IMPORTANT REFERENCES  (full citations below)

Mitchell 1907 (E*; as sylvestris)

Howard et al. 1913 (1912) (E*)

Howard et al. 1917 (E; as sylvestris)

Séguy 1924: 88 (E*), 71 (M genitalia*)

Barraud 1928a (F*)

Barraud 1934: 253 (M*, F, L)

Gjullin 1937 (F*)

Marshall 1938 (E*)

Ross 1947 (F*)

Natvig 1948: 412 (M*, F, L*)

Penn 1949b: 60 (P*)

Darsie 1951: 13 (P*)

Yamaguti & LaCasse 1951d: 251 (M*, F*, L*)

Carpenter & LaCasse 1955: 263 (M*, F*, L*; keys)

Muspratt 1955: 169 (M*, F, L; taxonomy)

Horsfall & Craig 1956: 370 (E*)

Craig & Horsfall 1958 (E*)

Price 1960: 560 (1st instar L*)

Belkin 1962 (F*)

Mohrig 1967 (F*)

Ross & Horsfall 1965 (M*, F*, L*, E*; keys)

Hamon et al. 1966: 373 (synonym)

Dodge 1966: 359 (1st instar L*; key)

Mohrig 1967 (F*)

Myers 1967 (E*)

Kalpage & Brust 1968 (E*)

Sicart & Larrouy 1968 (F*)

Mohrig 1969 (F*)

Horsfall et al. 1970: 1713 (E*)

Pao & Knight 1970b: 115 (L*)

Rjazantzeva 1970 (F*)

Aslamkhan 1971b (distribution; Pakistan)

Belkin & Heinemann 1971: 27 (distribution)

Matsou et al. 1972 (E*)

Moriya et al. 1972 (E*)

Horsfall et al. 1973 (E)

Moriya et al. 1973 (E*)

Reinert 1973b: 66 (M*, F*, P*, L*, E; world distribution)

Bickley 1976 (distribution; Alaska, United States)

Utrio 1976: 129, 135 (L*)

Ramalingam 1976: 307 (taxonomy, bionomics, keys., distribution; Samoa & Tonga)

Skierska 1977 (F*)

Bohart & Washino 1978: 120 (M, F*, L*; keys, taxonomy, bionomics, distribution)

Moussiegt 1979 (complete annotated bibliography)

Lee et al. 1982: 32 (distr.)

Moussiegt 1982 (complete annotated bibliography)

Moussiegt 1988a (complete annotated bibliography)

Linley 1990 (E*)

Mgeladze 1991 (distribution; Georgia)

Darsie et al. 1996 (distribution; Nepal)

Jupp 1996 (F*; key)

Linley 1990 (E*)

Reinert 2000e: Fig. 3 (F*)

Spungis 2000 6: 9 (distribution; Latvia)

Whelan & Hapgood 2000: 405 (bionomics, distribution; East Timor)

Becker et al. 2003 (E*)

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

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

Rattanarithikul et al. 2010 (F*, L*; keys, bionomics, distribution; Thailand)

Becker et al. 2010: 194 (M*, F*, L*; keys, taxonomy, distribution, bionomics)

Ahmed et al. 2011 (distribution; Saudi Arabia)

Namazov 2014 (distribution; Azerbaijan)

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

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



syn. parvus Macquart

1834: 36 (Culex). Type locality: Bordeaux [Gironde], France (NE).

syn. articulatus Rondani

1872: 30 (Culex). Type locality: Italy (LU).

syn. malariae Grassi

1898: 168 (M; Culex). Type locality: Italy (LU).

syn. sylvestris Theobald

1901a: 406 (M*, F*; Culex). Type locality: Rondeau Provincial Park, Kent Co.; Lake Simcoe, Ontario; Stony Mt., Manitoba, all Canada (NHMUK).

ssp. nocturnus (Theobald)

1903a: 159 (F; Culex; as sp.). Type locality: Ba, Fiji Islands (NHMUK). Distribution: Australia, Cook Islands (Polynesia), Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa (Ind. State of Samoa; American Samoa; Western Samoa), Solomon Islands, Timor, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. References:  Bohart & Ingram 1946b: 15, 41 (M*, F, P*, L*; to ssp. of vexans); Yamaguti & LaCasse 1950a: 73 (M*, F*, L*); Knight & Hull 1953: 460 (M*, F, L*); Belkin 1962: 427 (M*, F, P*, L*; to sp. status); Basio 1971b: 12 (M*; as ssp. of vexans; bion., vector, distr.); Reinert 1973b: 66 (syn.); Baisas 1974: 6 (M*, F, P*, L*; tax., bion., distr.; Philippines); Lee et al. 1982: 32 (from syn. with vexans as sp.; distr.); Lee et al. 1982: 32 (tax., review). Etymology: nocturnal (L); females active at night. Informal name: Nocturnal Fijian Pointy Mosquito.

syn. montcalmi Blanchard

1905: 307 (new name for sylvestris Theobald, not silvestris Ross, 1898; Culex).

ssp. arabiensis (Patton)

1905: 633 (M*, F, L; Culex). Type locality: Ulub Camp & Crater, West Aden Protectorate [Yemen] (NE). Distribution: Gambia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan & South Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen. References: Edwards 1941: 195 (M*, F); Lewis 1945: 11 (P, L); Hopkins 1952: 198 (L*); White 1975: 309 (resur. from syn. to ssp. of vexans; distr.). Etymology: Arabia. Informal name: Arabia Yemeni Pointy Mosquito.

ssp. nipponii (Theobald)

1907: 337 (F*; Culicada; as sp.). Type locality: Karnizana, Japan (NHMUK). Distribution: Georgia, Japan, Mongolia, People's Republic of China, Russia, South Korea. References:  Bohart & Ingram 1946b: 69 (M*, F, L*; bion., distr., tax.; ssp. of vexans); LaCasse & Yamaguti 1950: 125 (M*, F*, L*; bion., distr., tax.); Yoshimeki 1955: 81 (L*); Hara 1957: 66 (F*); Hara 1957 (F*); Matsuo et al. 1972: 361 (E*); Moriya et al. 1973 (E*); Reinert 1973b: 79 (M*, F*, P*, L*); Moriya et al. 1973 (E*); Sheremet 1975: 100 (distr.); Tanaka et al. 1975c: Tanaka et al. 1975c: 224 (bion., distr.); Minar 1976: 335 (distr.); Tanaka et al. 1979: 410 M*, F*, L*); Mgeladze 1991: 331 (distr.; Georgia); Gornostaeva 2000: 478 (distr.; Russia); Ree 2003: 41 (distr.; Korea); Tanaka 2003a: 15 (P*; tax., key). Etymology: Japanese name for Japan. Informal name: Nippon Japanese Pointy Mosquito.

syn. minuta Theobald

1907: 338 (F*; Culicada; not minutus (Theobald 1901a)). Type locality: India (NHMUK).

syn. eruthrosops Theobald

1910c: 299 (F*; Culicada). Type locality: Trincomalee, Ceylon [Sri Lanka] (NHMUK). References: Knight & Hull 1953: 463 (syn.).

syn. sudanensis Theobald

1911c: 154 (M*, F*; Culex). Type locality: Sudan (NHMUK). References: Edwards 1941: 195 (syn.); White 1975: 309 (syn.; lectotype desig.).

ssp. syn. niger Theobald

1913b: 164 (A; Culex nocturnus var.). Type locality: Canala, New Caledonia (B). References: Reinert 1973b: 66 (syn.).

syn. euochrus Howard, Dyar & Knab

1917: 716 (F). Type locality: Popcum, British Columbia, Canada (USNM).



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