NSW Arbovirus Surveillance & Vector Monitoring Program
Culex molestus
Culex molestus

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Characteristic Features

Female: A medium-sized mosquito of light-brownish appearance; proboscis pale below from base but dark on apical third; scutum with narrow golden scales; wings all dark scaled; hind legs with femur pale almost to tip but with some dark scaling dorsally, remainder of leg all dark scaled; abdominal tergites with pale basal bands straight and unconstricted laterally merging into lateral patches; sternites usually all pale scaled. (Click here for a large photograph of the adult).

Similar Species

Adult females may be confused with Cx. globocoxitus (proboscis pale underneath to tip), Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. australicus (tergal bands constricted laterally and usually with some dark scales on sternites), Cx. cylindricus and Cx. orbostiensis (wing more sparsely scaled and usually a smaller mosquito).

Geographic Distribution

NSW, Vic, Tas.

Habits & Habitats

Adults may be active year round in warmer areas, they attack humans (and also birds) readily at night.

Vector & Pest Status

This can be a serious domestic pest indoors in certain areas; the species can carry Murray Valley encephalitis virus in laboratory studies but its potential as a vector of importance is unknown.

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

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