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For other uses, see Culex (disambiguation).
Culex sp..jpg
Male Culex sp.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Culicidae
Genus: Culex
Linnaeus, 1758

C. annulirostris
C. antennatus
C. jenseni
C. pipiens
C. pusillus
C. quinquefasciatus
C. rajah
C. restuans
C. salinarius
C. tarsalis
C. territans
C. theileri
C. tritaeniorhynchus
C. vishnui
many more

1216 species

Culex is a genus of mosquitoes, several species of which serve as vectors of important diseases, such as West Nile virus, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, and avian malaria. The adult mosquito can measure from 4–10 mm (0.16–0.39 in), and morphologically has the three body parts common to insects: head, thorax, and abdomen. As a fly (Diptera), it has one pair of wings.

Scientists at the University of California, Davis and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences have identified nonanal as a compound that attracts Culex mosquitoes.[1][2][3] Nonanal acts synergistically with carbon dioxide.[4]


Carl Linnaeus used the Latin term for midge or gnat, culex, as the name of this taxon.[5]


The developmental cycle takes two weeks and is by complete metamorphosis. Eggs are laid singularly or in batches, depending on the species. Eggs only hatch in the presence of water. During the larval stage, the mosquito lives in water and feeds on organic matter and plants, then develops into a pupa. The pupa is comma-shaped and also lives in water. It does not feed and becomes an adult after one or two days. Mosquito larvae are not propelled by appendages as are the aquatic insects shown, nor do they move with rhythmic undulating motions characteristic of many aquatic insect larvae.[6]


The Culex genus is quite diverse, with well over a thousand species. In Panama alone, 88 species were described by 1955.

Culex mosquito larvae
Culex quinquefasciatus, known vector of West Nile virus



  1. ^ "UC Davis Researchers Identify Dominant Chemical That Attracts Mosquitoes to Humans". University of California, Davis. October 26, 2009. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  2. ^ Syed, Z.; Leal, W. S. (2009). "Acute olfactory response of Culex mosquitoes to a human- and bird-derived attractant". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (44): 18803–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.0906932106. PMC 2767364. PMID 19858490.  edit
  3. ^ Hill, Sharon R.; Hansson, Bill S.; Ignell, Rickard (January 15, 2009). "Characterization of Antennal Trichoid Sensilla from Female Southern House Mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus Say". Chemical Senses (Oxford University Press) 34 (3): 231–252. doi:10.1093/chemse/bjn080. PMID 19153252. 
  4. ^ "Scientists Identify Key Smell that Attracts Mosquitoes to Humans". U.S. News & World Report. October 28, 2009. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  5. ^ "culex". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  6. ^ "Mosquito Ecology and Surveillance Laboratory". Retrieved 7 August 2014. 

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