Africanus Group

Type species: 

Aedes africanus (Theobald, 1901), original combination: Stegomyia africanus [sic].


Subfamily Culicinae, tribe Aedini, genus Aedes, subgenus Stegomyia. The Africanus Group includes eight species.


Species of the Africanus Group are distinguished from other species and groups of subgenus Stegomyia by the following combinations of characters. ADULTS ‒ Maxillary palpus of females with dorsal surface of palpomere 4 pale-scaled, maxillary palpus of males slightly shorter to longer than proboscis, palpomeres 2‒5 or 3‒5 with basal pale scaling, ventral surface of palpomere 5 sometimes entirely pale; scutum with dorsocentral setae and patch of broad pale scales on scutal fossa; paratergite with broad pale scales; subspiracular area with broad pale scales; postspiracular area without scales; femur of all legs without knee spot; midfemur with large basal, median and apical pale patches on anterior surface; hindtarsomeres 1‒3 with basal pale bands, hindtarsomere 4 with or without basal pale band, hindtarsomere 5 entirely dark. MALE GENITALIA ‒ Ninth tergal lobes with 3-12 setae; sternum IX without setae; gonocoxite with membranous mesa1 surface; gonostylus simple,]/no-lexicon] elongate, with long slender or short stout gonostylar claw at apex; claspette large, lobed, expanded distally, expansion oval, subtriangular or square in dorsal aspect and bearing numerous simple setae and 0‒3 spine-like setae; aedeagus with short apical teeth; paraproct with sternal arm; cereal setae absent. LARVAE ‒ Antenna less than 0.5 length of [no-lexicon]head, surface smooth; seta 1-A single, inserted on apical 0.5 of antennal shaft; seta 4-C well developed, with 4‒9 branches, inserted anteromesad of seta 6-C; setae 5,6-C usually single, sometimes double; setae 8‒10,13-C single; setae 1,5,7-P with 2‒4 branches; seta 2-P single; setae 5,7-M single; seta 7-T with 3‒8 branches; seta 9-T with 2 or 3 branches; seta  12-T short, single, simple; seta 6-I with 2‒4 branches, 6-II‒VI usually double; seta 7-I usually double, 7-II double or triple; comb with 6‒15 squamiform or spine-like scales in single row; siphon relatively short, index 1.2‒2.5, pecten with 7‒19 spines, spines evenly spaced or distal spine more widely spaced, seta 1-S with l‒3 branches, inserted beyond distal pecten spine; saddle incomplete, with inconspicuous marginal spicules; seta 3-X single or branched; ventral brush (seta 4-X) with 4 pairs of setae on grid. PUPAE ‒ Trumpet 3.0-4.0 longer than width at mid-length; setae 1‒3-CT single, 1,3-CT longer than 2-CT; seta 6-CT single, stout, slightly longer to longer than seta 7-CT; setae 2,3-I widely separated, distance between their inserted about 1.5 distance between inserted of setae 4,5-I; seta 2-IV,V anteromesad of seta l; paddle broadly oval, margins with fringe of long hair-like spicules; apex rounded or slightly emarginate; seta 1-Pa single or branched. See subgenus Stegomyia.

Phylogenetic relationships: 

Huang (1990) suggested that the Africanus Group exhibits “strongest affinities with the Poweri Group based on morphological similarities of the adults, with the Scutellaris Group based on shared characteristics of paper, and with the Poweri and Simpsoni Groups based on similarities of the larvae.

Bionomics and disease relations: 

The immature stages of species of the Africanus Group develop in tree holes, stump holes, cut bamboo, bamboo stumps, bamboo pots, crotches of trees and artificial containers. Females of Ae. africanus, Ae. luteocephalus, Ae. maxgermaini, Ae. neoafricanus, Ae. opok, Ae. pseudoafricanus and Ae. ruwenzori are known to bite humans.

The Africanus Group includes important vectors of arboviruses. Viruses associated with four of the species are listed in Wilkerson et al. (2015): Table 1) as follows: Ae. africanus – Babanki, Bouboui, Chikungunya, Rift Valley Fever, Yellow Fever and Zika viruses; Ae. luteocephalus – Chikungunya, Dengue, Yellow Fever and Zika viruses; Ae. neoafricanus –Ngari virus; and Ae. opok Yellow Fever virus.


Species of the Africanus Group are found in the Afrotropical Region, but are absent from Madagascar.

Principal references: 

Huang, 1990 (keys, taxonomy, descriptions, distributions, bionomics, medical importance); Huang 2004 (diagnosis based on adults, bionomics, medical importance, keys).

africanus (Theobald, 1901)
corneti Huang, 1986
luteocephalus (Newstead, 1907) (in Newstead et al., 1907)
maxgermaini Huang, 1990
neoafricanus Cornet, Valade & Dieng, 1978
opok Corbet & van Someren, 1962
pseudoafricanus Chwatt, 1949
ruwenzori Haddow & van Someren, 1950
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith