Psorophora Robineau-Desoidy, 1827

NEARCTIC & NEOTROPICAL REGIONS

Family
Subfamily
Tribe

Generic abbreviation: Ps.

Type species: Culex ciliata Fabricius

Etymology: psoro- itch, mange, scurvy & phoro- carrying, bearing (Gr)

Species of the Aedine genus Psorophora are restricted to the warmer tropical and temperate regions of the New World. They are large mosquitoes and can deliver a painful bite. The genus comprises 49 species in three subgenera: Grabhamia (16 species), Janthinsoma (23 species) and Psorophora (10 species).

 

DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS  (Click photo to zoom in.)

ADULT (illustrated): Thorax: Postspiracular setae and prespiracular setae present. Abdomen: Apex of abdomen pointed; mesopostnotum bare. 

LARVA (not illustrated): Terminal segments): Comb with comb scales in a single row, usually on a sclerotized plate; siphon much expanded toward base; saddle complete; seta 4-X well-developed, extending to end of segment X.

 

TAXONOMIC KEYS

Horsfall et al. 1952: 618 (North America)

Lane 1953 (Neotropics)

Forattini 1965 (Neotropics)

Cova-García et al. 1966 (Venezuela)

Barr & Barr 1969a (North America, Puerto Rico)

Belkin et al. 1970: 115 (Jamaica)

Wood et al. 1979 (Canada)

Clark-Gil & Darsie 1983 (Guatemala)

Darsie 1985 (Argentina

Darsie & Ward 2005 (North America)

WRBU LUCID KEYS

 

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – Global – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – Global – Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – Nearctic – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – Nearctic – Larva

adult mosquito key icon

WRBU – Genera – Neotropical – Adult

larval key icon

WRBU – Genera – Neotropical – Larva

Exemplar DNA sequences

Ps. (Gra.) cingulata COI: KM592989

Ps. (Gra.) confinnis COI: KY859921-22

Ps. (Gra.) columbiae COI: JX260111–12

Ps. (Gra.) discolor COI: KM592989

Ps. (Gra.) insularius COI: JX260113, JX260717

Ps. (Gra.) pygmaea COI: JX260115–16

Ps. (Gra.) signipennis COI: JX260719–20)

Ps. (Jan.) cyanescens COI: HE600019, MG242535

Ps. (Jan.) ferox (M593037–38)

Ps. (Jan.) horrida COI: MG242537–38

Ps. (Jan.) longipalpus COI: JX260718, JX260114

Ps. (Pso.) ciliata COI: MG242533

Ps. (Pso.) howardii COI: JX260715–16

All Psorophora DNA sequences

 

BIONOMICS

Immatures

Immature subgenus Janthinosoma species—such as Ps. ferox (von Humboldt)—are found in heavily shaded woodland pools, whereas those of the subgenera Grabhamia and Psorophora are found in temporary brackish and freshwater ground pools in open sunlight. Typical sites include irrigated pastures, rice fields, and the flooded margins of swamps. All larvae of subgenus Psorophora are predacious.

Adults

Psorophora species are floodwater mosquitoes. Their eggs can endure many months of dessication, and are stimulated to hatch following water inundation. Many Psorophora species feed on domestic animals and people during the day, and many are important arbovirus vectors. Psorophora (Pso.) ciliata (Fabricius) and Ps. (Pso.) columbiae (Fabricius) can fly 5–10 miles from their larval habitats in search of hosts.

 

IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Robineau-Desoidy 1827: 412 (as genus)

Horsfall et al. 1952: 618 (E; key; North America)

Lane 1953 (taxonomy, keys; Neotropics)

Forattini 1965 (taxonomy, keys, bionomics; Neotropics)

Cova-García et al. 1966 (taxonomy, keys, bionomics; Venezuela)

Barr & Barr 1969a (P; key; North America, Puerto Rico)

Belkin et al. 1970: 115 (taxonomy, keys, bionomics; Jamaica)

Wood et al. 1979 (keys, taxonomy, biology, distribution; Canada)

Clark-Gil & Darsie 1983 (keys; Guatemala)

Darsie 1985a (keys; Argentina)

Reinert 2000b (F* genitalia)

Reinert et al. 2004 (phylogeny, classification)

Darsie & Ward 2005 (keys, distr.; North America)

Reinert et al. 2006 (phylogeny, classification)

Reinert et al. 2008  (phylogeny, classification)

Reinert et al. 2009  (phylogeny, classification)

Liria & Navarro 2014 (phylogeny)

Wilkerson et al. 2015  (phylogeny, classification)

Soghigian et al. 2017 (molecular phylogeny)

 

VALID SUBGENERA

Grabhamia Theobald [Gra.]

Janthinosoma Lynch Arribálzaga [Jan.]

Psorophora Robineau-Desvoidy [Pso.]

 

CURRENT GENERIC AND SUBGENERIC SYNONYMS

Grabhamia

syn. Feltidia Dyar 1905a: 47. Type species: Culex jamaicensis Theobald.

syn. Ceratocystia Dyar & Knab 1906d: 183 (as genus). Type species: Culex discolor Coquillett.

syn. Lanesia Leví-Castillo 1953f: 102 (as subgenus of genus Aedes). Type species: Aedes garciai Leví-Castillo.

Janthinosoma

syn. Conchyliastes Theobald 1901: 155, 235. In: Howard 1901. Type species: Culex musicus Say. Coquillett 1910: 526 (type species designation).

syn. Ianthinosoma Lynch Arribálzaga 1902: 9 (unjustified emendment). In: Goeldi 1902.

syn. Lepidosia Coquillett 1906b: 314 (as genus). Type species: Culex cyanescens Coquillett.

 

CITED REFERENCES

Barr, A. R., & Barr, S. (1969a). Mosquito studies (Diptera, Culicidae) XIII. Pupae of the genus Psorophora in North America and Puerto Rico. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, 4(4), 1–20.

Belkin, J.N., Heinemann, S.J., & Page, W.A. (1970). The Culicidae of Jamaica (Mosquito studies. XXI) Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, 6(1), 458.

Clark-Gil, S., & Darsie, Jnr., R.F. (1983). The mosquitoes of Guatemala: their identification, distribution and bionomics, with keys to adult females and larvae, in English and Spanish. Mosquito Systematics, 15(3), 151–284.

Coquillett, D.W. (1906b). On the breaking-up of the old genus Culex. Science (NS), 23, 312–314.

Cova García, P., Oramas, E.S., & Rausseo, J.A. (1966). Mosquitos (Culicinos) de Venezuela. II. Ministerio de Sanidad y Asistencia Social, Caracas, II, 1–413.

Darsie, R.F., Jr. (1985a). Mosquitoes of Argentina. Part I. Keys for Identification identification of Adult adult Females females and Fourth fourth Stage stage Larvae larvae in English and Spanish (Diptera, Culicidae). Mosquito Systematics, 17(3), 153-23–253.

Darsie, R.F., Jr., & Ward, R.A. (2005). Identification and geographical distribution of the mosquitoes of North America, north of Mexico. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.

Dyar, H.G. (1905a). Remarks on genitalic genera in the Culicidae. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 7, 42–49.

Dyar, H.G., & Knab, F. (1906d). The larvae of Culicidae classified as independent organisms. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 14, 169–230.

Forattini, O.P. (1965). Entomología Médica. 3.0 Volume. Culicini: Haemagogus, Mansonia, Culiseta, Sabethini, Toxorhynchitini. Arboviruses. Filariose bancroftiana. São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo.

Horsfall, W.R., MÎles, R.C., & Sokatch, J.T. (1952). Eggs of floodwater mosquitoes. I. Species of Psorophora (Diptera: Culicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 45(4), 618–624.

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

Leví-Castillo, R. (1953f). Notas adicionales sôbre la espécie Sabethes (Sabethoides) chloropterus Humboldt 1820, encontrado en la costa Ecuatoriana (Diptera-Culicidae). Revista Ecuatoriana de Entomología y Parasitologia, 1(3), 95–100, 102 pls.

Liria, J., & Navarro, J.-C. (2014). Phylogenetic relationships in the genus Psorophora Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera: Culicidae), based on morphological characters. Entomology and Applied Science Letters, 1(4), 22–50.

Reinert, J.F. (2000b). Comparative anatomy of the female genitalia of genera and subgenera in tribe Aedini (Diptera: Culicidae). Part II. Genus Psorophora Robineau-Desvoidy. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, 32(2), 19–35.

Reinert, J.F., Harbach, R.E., & Kitching, I.J. (2004). Phylogeny and classification of Aedini (Diptera: Culicidae), based on morphological characters of all life stages. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 142, 289–368.

Reinert, J.F., Harbach, R.E., & Kitching, I.J. (2006). Phylogeny and classification of Finlaya and allied taxa (Diptera: Culicidae: Aedini) based on morphological data from all life stages. Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society, 148(1), 1–101.

Reinert, J.F., Harbach, R.E., & Kitching, I.J. (2008). Phylogeny and classification of Ochlerotatus and allied taxa (Diptera: Culicidae: Aedini) based on morphological data from all life stages. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 153, 29–114.

Reinert, J.F., Harbach, R.E., & Kitching, I.J. (2009). Phylogeny and classification of tribe Aedini (Diptera: Culicidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 157(4), 700–794.

Robineau-Desvoidy, A.J.B. (1827). Essai sur la tribu des culicides. Société d’histoire naturelle, 3, 390–413.

Soghigian, J., Andreadis, T.G., & Livdahl, T.P. (2017). From ground pools to treeholes: convergent evolution of habitat and phenotype in Aedes mosquitoes. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17, 262.

Theobald, F.V. (1901a). A monograph of the Culicidae or mosquitoes (Vol. 1). London: British Museum (Natural History). [424pp]

Theobald, F.V. (1901b). The classification of mosquitoes. Journal of Tropical Medicine, 4, 229–235.

Theobald, F.V. (1901c). A monograph of the Culicidae or mosquitoes (Vol. 2). London: British Museum (Natural History). with Atlas of 37 colored pls. + 5 pls. of photographs.

Theobald, F.V. (1901d). Notes on a collection of mosquitoes from West Africa, and descriptions of new species. Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Memoir, 4.

Wilkerson, R.C., Linton, Y.-M., Fonseca, D., Schultz, T., Price, D., & Strickman, D. (2015). Making mosquito taxonomy useful: A stable classification of tribe Aedini that balances utility with current knowledge of evolutionary relationships. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0133602.

Wood, D.M., Dang, P.T., & Ellis, R.A. (1979). The Insects and Arachnids of Canada. Part 6. The Mosquitoes of Canada. (Diptera: Culicidae). Hull, Quebec: Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Supply and Services, Canada.

 

CITE THIS PAGE

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