NSW Arbovirus Surveillance & Vector Monitoring Program
Culex annulirostris
Culex annulirostris

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Characteristic Features

Female: A medium sized mosquito of brownish to dark appearance with banded legs; proboscis dark scaled with a pale band in middle third; scutum with dark bronze and golden narrow scales (a few pale narrow scales at the 'shoulders' and towards the rear); wings dark scaled; hind femur mottled with pale scales and scattered pale scales on tibia, tarsi 1-4 with pale basal bands, 5 all dark; tergites dark scaled with basal pale bands typically extended medially, sternites with pale scaling from base typically interrupting an apical dark band. (Click here for a photograph of the male) (Click here for a large photograph of the adult) (Click here for images of the larvae).

Similar Species

Adult females may be confused with other banded proboscis Culex such as Cx. sitiens (tergal bands not extended medially, sternal apical dark bands complete), Cx. bitaeniorhynchus (pale and dark wing scales and tergites with apical pale bands), Cx. edwardsi (mid femur not mottled but with pale stripe) and with an undescribed Culex (ENM sp. No. 32) which has hind femur pale on basal two-thirds not mottled; in northern Australia there are a number of other similar species which can be difficult to distinguish.

Geographic Distribution

NSW (widespread coastal and inland), Vic (widespread but not common south of the Central Highlands), SA (widespread, particularly Murray valley), Tas (east coast but only one record), (also Qld, NT, WA).

Habits & HabitatsCx. annulirostris breeding site (click to enlarge)

Adults are generally active from mid-spring to late-autumn in southeast Australia; feed readily on humans but also on other mammals and birds, and most feeding activity occurs from sunset for about 2 hours and again to a lesser degree at dawn; disperses 5-10 km.

Vector & Pest Status

This is the major summer pest of inland riverine areas of southeastern Australia, particularly in the Murray/Darling River basin; it is an efficient vector of a range of arboviruses in the laboratory and has been incriminated in field studies as a vector of many arboviruses (including Murray Valley encephalitis, Kunjin, Barmah Forest and Ross River virus) in the region; it is also able to carry dog heartworm and is probably a major vector of myxomatosis.

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

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