Aedes melanimon Dyar, 1924




Etymology: not stated [dark (Gr); probably refers to all dark-wing scales]

Aedes melanimon is widely distributed only the western side of the United States and Canada, and has been reported from Panama. The species is one of four species in the Nearctic Dorsalis Group, including Ae. canadensis (Theobald), Ae. campestris Dyar & Knab and Ae. dorsalis. Aedes melanimon, Ae. campestris Dyar & Knab and Ae. dorsalis can only be reliably diagnosed using molecular techniques, leading to some confusion in distribution and bionomic attributions. Dyar commented on the close morphological similarity of the Palaearctic Ae. dorsalis in his original description of, noting that Ae. melanimon exhibited subtle differences, with regard to Ae. dorsalis, including dark wing scales and characteristics of the male genitalia. Aedes melanimon is a major vector of western equine encephalitis and California group encephalitis viruses, and can transmit CEV transovarially.

Type locality: Bakersfield, California, United States

Type depository: U.S. National Museum, Washington, D.C., United States (USNM)

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

ADULT (illustrated): Thorax: Postprocoxal scales present. Wing: Dark and pale scales intermixed; vein 1A and costa with considerably more black than pale scales.  Leg: Ta-III usually with pale basal and apical bands covering articulations. Abdomen: VII-Te usually with more dark than pale scales.

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Total branches of setae 5-C + 6-C on both sides ≤ 6; seta 1-M much shorter than antenna and much smaller than 3-M.  Terminal segments: Comb scales usually with prominent pointed central spinule; pecten spines in regular row reaching to middle of siphon; seta 1-S inserted at or beyond middle of siphon; saddle incomplete, not encircling segment X; seta 1-X weak, single and no longer than saddle.



Carpenter & LaCasse 1955

Dodge 1966

Bohart & Washino 1978

Bohart & Washino 1978

Darsie & Ward 2005


Exemplar DNA sequences

Ae. melanimon  COI: JX259647, KM571866




Given the close morphological similarities in species of the Dorsalis Group, the true assignment of the bionomic characters and distributions of the component species are still uncertain. It is reported that the floodwater speciesAe. melanimon, Ae. dorsalis and Ae. nigromaculis (Ludlow)appear to form an ecological gradation of salt tolerance in flooded fields of California: Aedes nigromaculis is the least salt tolerant and very dependent on flooded pastures with abundant emergent vegetation, Ae. melanimon tolerates brackish water, and Ae. dorsalis occurs in salt marshes, as well as in inland sites with alkaline water. Aedes melanimon can become locally abundant in agricultural regions of central California, including in rice fields and rain pools in pastures. Although the species is found in coastal areas, it is most abundant inland.


The adults rest in long grasses close to the larval sites, and can become a significant pest, biting day or night. Southern populations overwinter as eggs or larvae, whereas as northerly populations aestivate only as eggs. The species can be univoltine in mountain sites above 2000m, or produce multiple generations in warmer climates or at lower elevations. Although the species feeds primarily on large mammals including man, it will feed on birds.



Canada, Panama, United States (continental).

Distribution map for <em>Aedes melanimon</em> Dyar, 1924



None; View other WRBU Vector Hazard Reports

Available GIS Models:

Ae_melanimon_Dornak_1 North America


IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Dyar 1924e: 126 (M, F; as Aedes)

Dyar 1928: 201 (M*, F, L*)

Barr 1955: 170 (from synonym with dorsalis)

Carpenter & LaCasse 1955: 202 (M*, F; keys)

Richards 1956: 261 (M*, F*, L*)

Bohart 1956a (L*; taxonomy; melanimon-dorsalis comparison)

Stone & Knight 1956a: 221 (type information, lectotype designation)

Chapman & Grodhaus 1963 (taxonomy)

Dodge 1966: 354 (1st instar L; key)

Myers 1967: 803 (E*)

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

Bohart & Washino 1978: 51 (M, F*, L*; keys, taxonomy, bionomics, distribution)

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

Darsie 2011d (P*)



syn. mediolineata Ludlow

1907: 129 (F; Grabhamia). Type locality: Fort Lincoln, North Dakota, United States (USNM). References: Stone & Knight 1956a: 220 (type info., lectotype designation); Wood 1977: 76 (synonymy).

syn. klotsi Matheson

1933: 69 (M*, F). Type locality: Mountain Home Lake, Fort Garland, Colorado, United States (USNM). References: Yamaguti & LaCasse 1951d: 127 (M*, F*, L*); Carpenter & LaCasse 1955: 202 (synonymy).






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

Bohart, R.M. (1956a). Identification and distribution of Aedes melanimon and Aedes dorsalis in California. Proceedings and Papers of the Annual Conference of the California Mosquito Control Association, 24, 81–83.

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.

Darsie, R.F., Jr. (2011d). Description of the pupae of Ochlerotatus flavescens and Ochlerotatus melanimon. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 27(2), 99-19–104.

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.

Dyar, H.G. (1924e). Two new mosquitoes from California (Diptera, Culicidae). Insecutor Inscitiae Menstruus, 12, 125–127.

Dyar, H.G. (1928). The mosquitoes of the Americas. Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Ludlow, C.S. (1907). Mosquito notes. V. (continued). Canadian Entomologist, 39, 129–131, 266–268, 413–414.

Matheson, R. (1933). A new species of mosquito from Colorado (Diptera, Culicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 35, 69–71.

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

Richards, C.S. (1956). Aedes melanimon Dyar and related species. Canadian Entomologist, 88, 261–269.

Stone, A., & Knight, K.L. (1956a). Type specimens of mosquitoes in the United States National Museum. II. The genus Aedes (Diptera, Culicidae). Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 46(7), 213–228.

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



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