NSW Arbovirus Surveillance & Vector Monitoring Program
Ochlerotatus vittiger

Aedes vittiger

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Characteristic Features

Female: A large mosquito of paleish grey/brown appearance with banded legs; proboscis extensively mottled to almost complete paleness for basal three-quarters; scutum with extensive covering of narrow pale scales except for four well defined stripes of smaller dark scales; wing generally dark scaled but with pale areas on basal half of front veins; hind leg with femur essentially all pale scaled on basal half with dark mottling increasing towards tip, tibia and first tarsus also predominantly pale with mottling and a dark tip, rest of tarsi with pale basal bands but fifth may be all dark; abdominal tergites dark scaled with pale broad basal protruding bands becoming more mottled and almost completely pale on terminal segments, sternites pale scaled with dark apical bands or patches. (Click here for a large photograph of the adult).

Similar Species

Adult females are very distinctive but sometimes could be confused with Ae. alternans, however that species has much longer palps, extensive pale scaling on wings and no obvious dark stripes on scutum.

Geographic Distribution

NSW (widely distributed in plains areas west of the Divide and occasionally found on coast), Vic (typically in river areas of north and northwest), SA (Murray), (also Qld, NT).

Habits & Habitats

Adults are most active from spring, usually are most abundant from early to mid-summer but sometimes also after autumn floods; they readily attack humans and other animals often during the day but also at evening and night.

Vector & Pest Status

Can be a significant pest in irrigation areas and after floods in rural riverine areas; has been shown to be able to carry Murray Valley encephalitis virus in laboratory studies but there is no field evidence for any role in transmission of human disease.

modified from: Russell, R.C. (1996). A colour photo atlas of mosquitoes of
Southeastern Australia
. Medical Entomology, Westmead Hospital.

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