Subgenus Psorophora Robineau-Desvoidy, 1827
Psorophora ciliata (Fabricius, 1794); original combination: Culex ciliata.
Subfamily Culicinae, genus Psorophora. Subgenus Psorophora includes 10 species. Subgenus abbreviation – Pso.
Species of subgenus Psorophora are characterised and distinguished from species of subgenera Grabhamia and Janthinosoma by the following combinations of characters. Characters that diagnose subgenus Psorophora in the phylogenetic analyses of Reinert et al. (2009), based on features observed in Ps. ciliata and Ps. howardii, are indicated by an asterisk (*).
ADULTS – Huge mosquitoes; scutum without scales between acrostichal and dorsocentral setae and between prescutellar and supraalar setae; wing entirely dark-scaled or with few inconspicuous pale scales on costa and subcosta; hindleg with long erect scales, shaggy, *hindfemur without subapical ring of pale scales, hindtarsomere 5 never entirely white-scaled; ungues of all legs with 1 tooth; *laterotergite of abdominal segment I without scales. MALE GENITALIA – *Gonocoxite without scales; aedeagus with broad sharp lateral subapical spine, *with small distal spicules. EGGS – *Greatly expanded, more or less diamond-shaped in lateral outline. LARVAE – Head capsule more or less quadrate in dorsal view, truncate anteriorly; lateral palatal brushes reduced, filaments thickened; antenna short, not reaching anterior margin of head capsule, *≤ 0.40 length of dorsal apotome; *seta 1-A *single or double, short, *length ≤ 3.0 times width of antenna at point of insertion; *seta 1-C spiniform; *seta 4-C inserted posterior to seta 6-C, *≥ 0.90 length of dorsal apotome (unique); *seta 5-C 0.21–0.38 length of dorsal apotome; *seta 6-C inserted anterior to seta 7-C; *seta 7-C inserted more or less on level with seta 5-C; *seta 12-C inserted lateral to seta 13-C; *seta 7-P single; *seta 1-VII ≤ 0.42 mid-dorsal length of segment X; pecten comprised of numerous spines, *distal one or more spines more widely spaced; *seta 1a-S single, *length 1.15–1.99 width of siphon. PUPAE – Seta 10-C usually with fewer than 5 branches; seta 5-II *longer than seta 3-II, inserted posterior to seta 3-II, usually with fewer than 5 branches; paddle heavily pigmented near external buttress and apex. See genus Psorophora.
Subgenera Psorophora + Janthinosoma was the sister of subgenus Grabhamia in the phylogeny of Aedini recovered in the phylogenetic study of Reinert et al. (2009) based on morphological data of all life stages. The monophyly of subgenus Psorophora was strongly supported in the phylogenetic study of Liria & Navarro (2014) based on 66 morphological characters from the adult, larval and pupal stages analysed under equal weighting. However, relationships within the subgenus were poorly resolved in their strict consensus tree of 11 most parsimonious trees. Contrary to the findings of Reinert et al., Psorophora was recovered as the sister of Grabhamia in the maximum likelihood phylogeny of Soghigian et al. (2017) based on seven molecular markers.
The immature stages of the species of subgenus Psorophora are found in open sunlit temporary pools and the flooded margins of swamps. The larvae are predaceous. Females of at least some species avidly attack and bite humans during daylight hours in the vicinity of larval habitats.
Psorophora ciliata is known to carry Eastern, Venezuelan and Western equine encephalitis viruses, Tensaw virus and West Nile virus, but it is not known whether it is a competent vector of these viruses. Other species of the subgenus that have tested positive for viruses include Ps. cilipes (Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus) and Ps. howardii (California group viruses).
Species of subgenus Psorophora occur predominantly in the Neotropical Region from approximately 35º S latitude northward to Mexico. The distributions of Ps. ciliata and Ps. howardii extend north of Mexico, with the former reaching southern Canada.
Lane, 1953 (Neotropical Region, bionomics, keys, taxonomy, distributions); Forattini, 1965 (Neotropical Region); Cova-García et al., 1966 (Venezuela); Belkin et al., 1970 (Jamaica, keys, taxonomy, bionomics, distributions); Wood et al., 1979 (Canada, keys, taxonomy, biology, distribution); Darsie & Ward, 1981, 2005 (North America, keys); Clark-Gil & Darsie, 1983 (Guatemala, keys); Darsie, 1985 (Argentina, keys); Reinert, 2000 (female genitalia); Reinert et al., 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009 (morphology, phylogeny); Liria & Navarro, 2014 (morphology, phylogenetic relationships); Soghigian et al., 2017 (phylogenetic relationships).
ciliata (Fabricius, 1794)
cilipes (Fabricius, 1805)
holmbergii Lynch Arribálzaga, 1891
howardii Coquillett, 1901
lineata (von Humboldt, 1819)
ochripes (Macquart, 1850)
pallescens Edwards, 1922
pilipes (Macquart, 1834)
saeva Dyar & Knab, 1906
stonei Vargas, 1956