Maorigoeldia Edwards, 1930



Generic abbreviation: Mg.

Type species: Culex argyropus Walker

Etymology: Maori people of New Zealand & Emilio Augusto Goeldi

The Sabethine genus Maorigoeldia is monotypic and represented only by the species Maorigoeldia argyropus (Walker). Adult Mg. argyropus are large and very attractive mosquitoes, with highly distinctive thick bluish-silver stripes across its head and thorax. Maorigoeldia argyropus shows unique primitive morphological characters—including well-developed acrostichal setae—suggesting that this may be a basal lineage within the tribe Sabethini.


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

ADULT (illustrated): Erect head scales restricted to occiput; prespiracular setae present. Thorax: Scutum with strong acrostichal, dorsocentral, prescutellar and supralar setae; scutum with pale bluish and silver scales. Abdomen: Three rounded spermathecae. Wing: Vein 1A terminates beyond base of mediocubital crossvein; wing upper calypter with marginal setae. 

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Occipital foramen circular with distinct collar: seta 3-C ventral; seta 13-P present.  Terminal segments: Comb with comb scales in a large patch of ≥100; seta 4-X with a single pair of setae.






adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – Global – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – Global – Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – Australasia – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – Australasia – Larva

Exemplar DNA sequences

Mg. argyropus arginine kinase gene: GQ906815

Mg. argyropus CAD gene: GQ906840

Mg. argyropus catalase gene: GQ906864

Mg. argyropus endolase gene: GQ906888

Mg. argyropus hunchback gene: GQ906912

Mg. argyropus white gene: GQ906932

All Maorigoeldia DNA sequences




Immature Mg. argyropus are found in natural containerstree holes and rot holes of Nothofagus spp., fallen Rhopalostylis sapida palm fronds, and in water collections in stumps of the silver tree fern, Cyathea dealbataand in artificial sites including rain barrels, and discarded tins, jars and tires. The large larvae of Mg. argyropus typically rest upside-down on the bottom of the rearing site, returning to the surface infrequently to respire.


Maorigoeldia argyropus is associated with lowland forests. It appears that Mg. argyropus does not blood feedit has never been collected in CO2-baited light traps, nor landing or feeding on man. In the laboratory, adult Mg. argyropus generated three egg batches, sustained only by sugar water, suggesting the species has adapted to autogeny. The species is endemic to New Zealand, including the North and South Islands, and on Little Barrier Island. It is wholly restricted to remaining large fragments of near-pristine native lowland forests, suggesting that the survival of this species (and genus) may be under threat.

Associated Pathogens

*Associated pathogens: This list reports bacteria, viruses, and parasites recovered from, or experimentally passed through this species, and does not imply field vector status.


IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Edwards 1930a: 302 (as Rachionotomyia, subgenus Maorigoeldia)

Belkin 1962: 492 (to genus)

Harbach & Peyton 1993 (L mouthparts*; phylogeny)

Judd 1996 (phylogeny)

Harbach & Kitching 1998 (phylogeny)






syn. Rachionotomyia, subg. Maorigoeldia Edwards 1930a: 302.



Belkin, J.N. (1962). The mosquitoes of the South Pacific (Diptera, Culicidae) (Vols. 1 &2). Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Edwards, F.W. (1930a). Mosquito notes. IX. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 21, 287–306.

Harbach, R.E. & Kitching, I.J. (1998). Phylogeny and classification of the Culicidae (Diptera). Systematic Entomology, 23(4), 327–370.

Harbach, R.E., & Peyton, E.L. (1993). Morphology and evolution of the larval maxilla and its importance in the classification of the Sabethini (Diptera: Culicidae). Mosquito Systematics, 25(1), 1–16.

Judd, D.J. (1996). Review of the systematics and phylogenetic relationships of the Sabethini (Diptera: Culicidae). Systematic Entomology, 21(2), 129–150.



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