Subgenus Kenknightia Reinert, 1990

Type species: 

Aedes dissimilis (Leicester, 1908), original combination: Stegomyia dissimilis.


Subfamily Culicinae, tribe Aedini, genus Aedes. Subgenus Kenknightia includes 12 species. Subgenus abbreviation – Ken.


The following combination of distinctive features distinguishes species of subgenus Kenknightia from species of other aedine generic-level taxa; characters that diagnose Kenknightia in the phylogenetic analysis of Reinert et al. (2009) are indicated with an asterisk (*). ADULTS – Interocular scales all broad; maxillary palpus, proboscis, tibiae and tarsi dark-scaled; maxillary palpus of males noticeably shorter than proboscis, slender throughout, *palpomeres 4 and 5 nearly straight, short with few setae; vertex of head with broad recumbent scales; ocular line with broad silvery scales; acrostichal setae and dorsocentral setae absent; scutellum with only broad scales on mid and lateral lobes; postpronotum, paratergite, prealar knob and upper proepisternum with broad silvery scales; 1 or 2 upper proepisternal setae usually present; subspiracular area, postspiracular area and *lower prealar area without scales; mesokatepisternum with 1 (rarely 2) upper, 1 (rarely 2) median posterior and l–5 lower posterior setae; *mesokatepisternal scales in single large patch; mesepimeron with 1–11 (usually 1–6) upper posterior setae; *hindtarsomere 2 without basal pale scales; abdominal terga of males with few relatively short lateral setae. FEMALE GENITALIA – Caudal margin of sternum VIII with minute median depression, short curved lanceolate setae intermixed with stout setae on margin; *tergum IX comprised of 2 elongate lateral plates connected by membrane; insula lip-like, with 4–9 setae; upper vaginal sclerite absent or very small; postgenital lobe narrow, *apex rounded, *ratio of ventral width at distal 0.20 to cercus width at midlength ≤ 0.65; cercus moderately long, wide, *cercus index ≤ 2.88, distal 0.33 tapered, flattened and *gently oblique, this area with stout setae, intermixed with curved lanceolate setae. MALE GENITALIA – *Tergum IX lobes moderately broad to broad, *widely spaced, *setae all slender; gonocoxite long and narrow, with more or less evenly spaced setae along mesal margin setae, *basal mesal lobe absent; gonostylus moderately long, Gs/Gc index 0.36–0.47, with simple long and narrow gonostylar claw, *≥ 0.39 length of gonostylus; aedeagus trough-like, apex without teeth and flattened. LARVAE – Antenna long, narrow, with spicules proximal to insertion of seta 1-A, seta 1-A single, stout, inserted 0.42–0.56 from base; setae 4–6-C inserted at angles of small triangle posterior to level of seta 7-C; seta 4-C short, inserted more or less on level with or posterior to seta 6-C; setae 5,6-C long and stout, seta 5-C single, seta 6-C shorter than seta 5-C; seta 13-C branched; *contrary to Reinert et al. (2009) setae 1–3-P  usually not inserted on common seta support plate; seta 6-I,II stout and relatively long; seta 12-I present; seta 2-VII single; *seta 3-VII branched, inserted at same level or posterior to seta 1-VII; comb with squamiform or weakly spine-like scales in a triangular patch; *seta 6-S noticeably longer than distal width of siphon; ventral brush (seta 4-X) with 5 or 6 pairs of setae, caudal 8 setae with 5–12 long branches. PUPAE – Seta 5-CT noticeably longer and seta 4-CT, both with 2–9 branches; seta 6-CT short; seta 7-CT very long, with 2–7 branches; *seta 1-II with 3 or fewer branches (rarely 4-branched); *seta 3-II longer than seta 6-II; *seta 3-III branched [rarely single]; seta 5-IV–VI very long and stout; branches of setae 1-I and 9-VIII with long aciculae; paddle with well-developed buttress on proximal 0.78 or less, apicolateral margin more or less flattened; seta l- Pa single.See Aedes.

Phylogenetic relationships: 

In the morphology-based phylogeny of Aedini recovered by Reinert et al. (2009), Kenknightia was placed in a clade comprised of subgenera Himalaius + Bruceharrisonius and Vansomerenis + (Zavortinkius + Kenknightia), followed by two pairs of species of uncertain generic assignment, Ae. biocellatus + Ae. crossi, and Ae. candidoscutellum + Ae. keefei. In the results of Reinert et al. (2006, 2008), these four groups were arranged in a paraphyletic series (with subgenus Hopkinsius included with Ae. biocellatus and Ae. crossi in the study of Reinert et al., 2006). Kenknightia was not associated with other generic-level taxa in the phylogeny of Wilkerson et al. (2015). A single species of Kenknightia (Ae. dissimilis) was recovered in a sister relationship with a single species of Geoskusea (Ae. baisasi) in the maximum likelihood phylogeny of Soghigian et al. (2017) based on a single molecular marker.

Bionomics and disease relations: 

The immature stages of Kenknightia species usually inhabit tree holes and stumps, but occasionally occur in rock holes, bamboo stumps, coconut shells, axils of Colocasia, palm stubs and artificial containers such as cans, pots and buckets. Adult females have been collected biting humans and water buffalo.

Species of subgenus Kenknightia are not of medical and economic importance to humans.


Southeast Asia. Species of subgenus Kenknightia are known from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Principal references: 

Reinert, 1990 (taxonomy); Reinert et al., 2004, 2006, 2009 (as genus, morphology, phylogeny); Rattanarithikul et al., 2010 (as genus, Thailand, keys, bionomics); Wilkerson et al., 2015 (phylogeny, classification); Soghigian et al., 2017 (phylogenetic relationships).

dissimilierodes Dong, Zhou & Dong, 2002
dissimilis (Leicester, 1908)
gaffigani Reinert, 1990
harbachi Reinert, 1990
karwari (Barraud, 1924)
lerozeboomi Reinert, 1990
leucomeres (Giles, 1904)
litwakae Reinert, 1990
luzonensis Rozeboom, 1946
paradissimilis Rozeboom, 1946
wilkersoni Reinert, 1990
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith