Subgenus Lasioconops Theobald, 1903

Type species: 

Culex poicilipes (Theobald, 1903), original combination: Lasioconops poicilipes.


Subfamily Culicinae, genus Culex. Subgenus Lasioconops is monobasic. Subgenus abbreviation – Lsi.


ADULTS – Moderately large mosquitoes easily distinguished from species of other subgenera of Culex in the Afrotropical and Palaearctic Regions by the presence of rows of pale spots on the femora and tibiae. Maxillary palpus of females comprised of 3 palpomeres, palpus of males with 5 palpomeres; proboscis with median pale band; scutum with with variable amount of pale scaling but anterior two-thirds not mainly covered with pale scales as in species of subgenus Oculeomyia; proepisternum with lower patch of pale scales in addition to usual upper patch; wing with variable pale scaling, sometimes absent or indistinct but usually scattered or in lines or spots on anterior veins; femora and tibiae with row of pale spots on anterior surface; tarsi with pale rings on base and apex of tarsomeres 1‒3 and base of tarsomere 4; abdominal terga II‒VII with variable basal pale bands, generally produced medially, more so on more posterior terga, no apical pale bands. MALE GENITALIA – Tergum IX lobes scarcely produced, with row of irregularly spaced setae; gonocoxite rather elongate, subapical lobe undivided, foliform seta (g) present, an unusual auxiliary seta present basally on proximal side of lobe; inner division of phallosome closely fused to ventromesal margin of outer division, with a number of large dorsolaterally directed teeth borne between dorsocaudal angle and mesal surface of outer division, outer division with large concavo-convex flap arising from dorsocaudal margin; proctiger large, paraproct long and slender, without basal lateral arm, crown composed of numerous short spine-like spicules; cercal setae present. LARVAE – Antenna shorter than head, scape developed, seta 1-A large, with numerous branches, inserted at mid-length of shaft; median labral plate distinct, separated from dorsal apotome by well-developed clypeolabral suture; dorsomentum broadly triangular with relatively few distinct teeth; maxillary elongate, somewhat shaped like an arch-shaped door in ventral view, maxillary palpus not fused with and shorter than 0.25 length of maxillary body, hypostomal sclerite not fused with cranium; setae 4‒6-C inserted posterior to mid-length of head capsule, relatively distant from seta 7-C; seta 3-P similar to setae 1,2-P, equally long and single; seta 7-I similar to 6-I, seta 7-II small like 7-III–VI; seta 1-III‒VIII  strongly developed, multi-branched, distinctly longer than 0.5 length of segment; seta 2-VI inserted lateral to 3-VI; comb scales large, spine-like, fringed on either side at base; siphon short, stout, with pronounced forward curvature, spiracular lobes unusually large; pecten borne on basal 0.33 of siphon; seta 1-S consists of 5 setae, 4 inserted at posterior midline, considerably longer than diameter of siphon, fifth seta inserted far lateral to 2 middle posterior setae; saddle complete, rather long; seta 1-X short, branched; seta 2-X branched; ventral brush (seta 4-X) composed of 6 or 7 pairs of highly branched setae on grid; anal papillae variable of variable length, ventral pair usually, but not always, longer than dorsal pair. PUPAE – Trumpet more or less cylindrical, pinna short; seta 1-II with 8‒15 branches; seta 2-II inserted anterolateral to 3-II, seta 2-III–V, and usually 2-VI,VII, inserted mesad of seta 1; seta 1-III‒V strongly developed, multi-branched, about length of following tergum; seta 5-V,VI considerably longer than following tergum; seta 6-III‒VI branched, branches flexible; seta 9-VIII inserted on sternum some distance from lateral and posterior margins; caudolateral angle of segment VIII acutely produced; paddle with darkened area on distal 0.5 or less and mainly on inner part, outer and inner parts about same width; setae 1,2-Pa present.. See genus Culex.

Phylogenetic relationships: 

Harbach (1988) provisionally placed Cx. poicilipes in the Sitiens Subgroup of the Sitiens Group of subgenus Culex based on similarities of the larval stage with the larva of Cx. whitmorei, but noted it was likely that poicilipes and whitmorei would have to be placed in separate groups after species of the Sitiens Group had been studied more thoroughly. In the morphology-based phylogenetic study of Harbach et al. (2012), Cx. poicilipes was recovered as the sister to Cx. bitaeniorhynchus + Cx. infula of the subgenus Oculeomyia, and the three species in a sister relationship to species of the Mimeticus Subgroup.

Bionomics and disease relations: 

The immature stages of the type species are found in sunlit bodies of clean standing water with thick vegetation. Females have been found to enter houses and readily attack humans near larval habitats. They are not known to vector any pathogens of human disease; however, Rift Valley Fever Virus has been isolated from specimens collected in the Senegal River Basin, suggesting that Cx. poicilipes may play a role in transmission of the virus in the Afrotropical Region.


Culex poicilipes is widely distributed in the Afrotropical Region, with populations occurring along the Nile River into Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula and the Negev Desert of southern Israel.

Principal references: 

Edwards, 1941 (Cx. poicilipes as species of subgenus Culex, taxonomy, ♀, ♂, pupa, distribution; Harbach, 1988 (Cx. poicilipes as species of subgenus Culex, taxonomy, ♀, ♂, pupa, larva, bionomics, distribution; Harbach, 2023 (subgeneric status, taxonomy, morphological distinctions).


poicilipes (Theobald, 1903)

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith