Aedes dorsalis (Meigen, 1830)




Etymology: not stated [back (L); probably refers to the scutum patterned with two black stripes]

Aedes dorsalis is a floodwater mosquito, easily recognizable by its characteristic patterned scutum with two dark stripes. The species occurs in both the Nearctic (Canada south to Mexico) and the Palearctic, where it has been reported throughout Europe, reaching east into China, Mongolia and Siberia. It is reportedly sympatric with its sister taxon Ae. caspius (Pallas, 1771) in certain regions of Europe and along the shores of the Black and Caspian Seas. Stark bionomic differences between Nearctic and Palearctic populations strongly suggest cryptic species in Ae. dorsalis.

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 dark, speckled with pale scales basally. Thorax: White hypostigmal scales and postprocoxal scales present. Wings: With distinct white areas, non-white areas speckled with black scales. Legs: Ta-III1–3 with white rings basally and apically; Ta-III4 with basal white ring and a few white scales at apex; Ta-III5 almost entirely white. Abdomen: Surface nearly covered with white scales. 

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Seta 1-A inserted near middle of antenna, branched, long but not reaching tip of antenna; setae 5,6-C 1–4 branched. Terminal segments: Comb scales rounded apically, in irregular double row; saddle incomplete, not encircling segment X; seta 1-X shorter than length of saddle; siphon without setae except for 1-S and 2-S; siphon index c. 4.0; pecten with spines evenly spaced.



Carpenter & LaCasse 1955

Ross & Horsfall 1965

Dodge 1966

Bohart & Washino 1978

Darsie & Ward 2005

Becker et al. 2010

Harrison et al. 2016


Exemplar DNA sequences

Ae. dorsalis COI: JF868943, JF868954, JX259585–92, JX260433–34, KC913569, KM571446, KP942725–26, KT358408–10, MG242488




When temperatures drop below 15.5°C, Ae. dorsalis undergo diapause as eggs, with habitat flooding stimulating egg eclosion the following spring. Females deposit their eggs deep (c. 2cm) into the mud of drying water bodies, in unshaded, grassy sites that are subject to flooding.  Some populations of U.S. Ae. dorsalis are highly tolerant of saline waters, being found in coastal and inland saline ponds, lakes and marshes. In waters adjacent to the Great Salt Lake (Utah, United States), Ae. dorsalis have been collected in ≤12% salt concentrations, yet in Europe, Mongolia and Siberia, immatures have only been recovered from freshwater lakes. Aedes dorsalis are very strong fliers, and have been observed to disperse ≥30km from their larval habitats after mating. Males emerge before the females, and form mating swarms 1.5–2m above the ground.


Females can be important nuisance pests to man, biting incessantly, especially on cloudy days.Female Ae. dorsalis are opportunistic, feeding on a variety of hosts and exhibiting crepuscular-nocturnal activity.



Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Crimean Peninsula, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (includes Corsica), FYRO Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, People's Republic of China, Poland, Romania, Russia (Central, Northwestern, Southern & Volga Districts), Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkestan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States (continental).

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



None; View other WRBU Vector Hazard Reports

Available GIS Models

Ae_dorsalis_Dornak_1 North America


IMPORTANT REFERENCES  (full citations below)

Meigen 1830b: 242 (F: as Culex)

Howard et al. 1917 (E; as currie)

Waterston 1918 (F*)

Gjullin 1937: 261 (F*)

Marshall 1938: 185 (M*, F*, L, E*)

Natvig 1948: 201 (M*, F*, L; bionomics)

Bohart 1948 (P*, L*)

LaCasse & Yamaguti 1950 (F*)

Monchadskii 1951: 161 (L*; as ssp. of caspius)

Yamaguti & LaCasse 1951d: 71 (M*, F*, L*)

Bohart 1954: 360 (L*)

Barr 1955: 170 (M*; taxonomy)

Carpenter & LaCasse 1955: 174 M*, F*, L; keys)

Craig 1956 (E*)

Hara 1957: 59 (F*)

Craig & Horsfall 1958 (E*)

Price 1960: 554 (1st instar L*)

Chapman & Grodhaus 1963 (taxonomy)

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

Dodge 1966: 352 (1st instar L; key)

Myers 1967: 799 (E*)

Kalpage & Brust 1968 (E*)

Rjazantzeva 1972 (F*)

Gutsevich et al. 1974: 201 (M*, F, L*; change in status)

Dahl 1975: 81, 86 (distribution)

Minar 1976: 344 (M*, F*; taxonomy)

Utrio 1976: 131, 134 (L*)

Bohart & Washino 1978: 47 (M*, F*, P*, L*; keys, taxonomy, bionomics, distribution)

Tanaka et al. 1979: 264 (M*, F*, L*)

Lambert et al. 1990 (E*)

Tanaka 1999: 107 (P*; taxonomy, distribution; Japan)

Gimnig & Eldridge 1999 (molecular taxonomy, morphometrics)

Spungis 2000 6: 10 (distribution; Latvia)

Alten et al. 2000 (distribution; Turkey)

Reinert 2002e: Fig. 22 (F*)

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

Becker et al. 2010: 226 (M*, F*, L*; keys, taxonomy, bionomics, distribution)

Darsie 2011a (P*)

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

Robert et al. 2019 (distribution, western Palaearctic)






Alten, B., Caglar, S.S., & Ozer, N. (2000). Malaria and its vectors in Turkey. European Mosquito Bulletin, 7, 27–33.

Barr, A. R. (1955). The resurrection of Aedes melanimon Dyar. Mosquito News, 15(3), 170–172.

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.

Bohart, R.M. (1948). Differentiation of larvae and pupae of Aedes dorsalis and Aedes squamiger (Diptera, Culicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 50(8), 216–218.

Bohart, R.M. (1949). The subgenus Neoculex in America North of Mexico (Diptera, Culicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 41(1948), 330–345.

Bohart, R.M. (1954). Identification of first stage larvae of California Aedes (Diptera, Culicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 47(2), 355–366.

Bohart, R.M. & Washino, R.K. (1978). Mosquitoes of California (3rd ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Carpenter, S.J., & LaCasse, W.J. (1955). Mosquitoes of North America (North of Mexico). Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Chapman, H.C., & Grodhaus, G. (1963). The separation of adult females of Aedes dorsalis (Meigen) and A. melanimon Dyar in California. California Vector Views, 10(8), 53–56.

Craig Jr., G.B. (1956). Classification of eggs of nearctic Aedinae mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). Dissertation Abstract (5).

Craig Jr., G.B., & Horsfall, W.R. (1958). Taxonomic and ecological significance of eggs of aedine mosquitoes. Proceeding of the Tenth International Congress of Entomology, 3, 853–857.

Dahl, C. (1975). Culicidae (Dipt. Nematocera) of the Baltic Island of Öland. Entomologisk Tidsskrift, 96(3–4), 77–96.

Darsie, R.F., Jr. (2011a). Redescription of the pupae of Ochlerotatus dorsalis and Ochlerotatus squamiger. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 27(2), 105-15–110.

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.

Dodge, H. R. (1966). Studies on mosquito larvae II. The first-stage larvae of North American Culicidae and of world Anophelinae. Canadian Entomologist, 98, 337–393.

Gimnig, J.E., & Eldridge, B.F. (1999). Genetic and morphological characterization of the Aedes (Ochlerotatus) dorsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) group in North America. Journal of Medical Entomology, 36(6), 685–694.

Gjullin, C.M. (1937). The female genitalia of the Aedes mosquitoes of the Pacific coast states. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 39, 252–266.

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.

Harrison, B.A., Byrd, B.D., Sither, C.B., & Whitt, P.B. (2016). The mosquitoes of the Mid-Atlantic Region: an identification guide (Vol. 1). Madison Heights, MI: Publishing XPress.

Howard, L.O., Dyar, H.G., & Knab, F. (1917). The mosquitoes of North and Central America and the West Indies. Systematic description. Part II. Carnegie Institute of Washington.

Kalpage, K.S., & Brust, R.A. (1968). Mosquitoes of Manitoba. 1. Descriptions and a key to Aedes eggs (Diptera: Culicidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 699–718.

La Casse, W.J., & Yamaguti, S. (1950). Mosquito fauna of Japan and Korea (with 95 original plates): Office of the Surgeon, Headquarters 8th Army, APO 343. 

Lambert, M., Pasteur, N., Rioux, J.-A., Delalbre-Belmonte, A., & Balard, Y. (1990). Aedes caspius (Pallas, 1771) et A. dorsalis (Meigen, 1830) (Diptera, Culicidae). Analyses morphologique et génétique de deux populations sympatriques. Preuves de l'isolement reproductif. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 26, 381–398.

Marshall, J.F. (1938). The British Mosquitoes. London: The British Museum (Natural History).

Meigen, J.W. (1830b). Systematische Beschreibung der bekannten europaischen zweiflugeligen Insekten. Volume 6. Hamm. iv, 401 pp., 12 pls.

Minar, J. (1976). Culiciden aus der Mongolei (Diptera). Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 22(3,4), 335–350.

Monchadskii, A.S.M. (1951). The larvae of bloodsucking mosquitoes of the USSR and adjoining countries (Subfam. Culicinae). Tableaux Analytiques de la Faune de l'URSS (Musee Zoologique de l'Académie des Sciences), 37, 1–290.

Myers, C.M. (1967). Identification and description of Aedes eggs from California and Nevada (Diptera: Culicidae). Canadian Entomologist, 99, 795–806.

Natvig, L.R. (1948). Contributions to the knowledge of the Danish and Fennoscandian mosquitoes: Culicini. Norsk Entomologisk Tidsskrift Suppl., 1, xxiii + 567 pp.

Price, R.D. (1960). Identification of first-instar aedine mosquito larvae of Minnesota (Diptera: Culicidae). Canadian Entomologist, 92, 544–560.

Reinert, J.F. (2002e). Comparative anatomy of the female genitalia of genera and subgenera in tribe aedini (Diptera: Culicidae). Part XIII. Genus Ochlerotatus Lynch Arribalzaga. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, 33(1), 1–111.

Rjazantzeva, A. E. (1972). The structure of female genitalia in bloodsucking mosquitoes of the subgenus Ochlerotatus (Diptera, Culicidae). Parassitologia, 6, 35–47.

Robert, V., Günay, F., Le Goff, G., Boussès, P., Sulesco, T., Khalin, A., Medlock, J.M., Kampen, H., Petrić, D. & F. Schaffner. (2019). Distribution chart for Euro-Mediterranean mosquitoes (western Palaearctic region). Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association, 37, 1–28.

Ross, H.H., & Horsfall, W.R. (1965). A synopsis of the mosquitoes of Illinois (Diptera, Culicidae). Illinois Natural History Survey Biological Notes, 52, 1–50.

Spungis, V. (2000). A checklist of Latvian mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). European Mosquito Bulletin, 6, 8–11.

Tanaka, K. (1999). Studies on the pupal mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of Japan. (1) Aedes (Ochlerotatus). Japanese Journal of Systematic Entomology, 5, 105–124.

Tanaka, K., Mizusawa, K., & Saugstad, E.S. (1979). A revision of the adult and larval mosquitoes of Japan (including the Ryukyu Archipelago and Ogasawara Islands) and Korea (Diptera: Culicidae). Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, 16, 1–987.

Utrio, P. (1976). Identification key to Finnish mosquito larvae (Diptera, Culicidae). Annales Agriculturae Fenniae, 15, 128–136.

Waterston, J. (1918). On the mosquitos of Macedonia. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 9(1), 1–12.

Yamaguti, S., & LaCasse, W.J. (1951d). Mosquito fauna of North America Part V – Genus Aedes. Office of the Surgeon, Headquarters, 8th Army, APO 343. United States. Office of the Surgeon-General. 207th Malaria Survey Detachment.



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