|Male Culex sp.|
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. Nonanal acts synergistically with carbon dioxide.
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.
The Culex genus is quite diverse, with well over a thousand species. In Panama alone, 88 species were described by 1955.
- "UC Davis Researchers Identify Dominant Chemical That Attracts Mosquitoes to Humans". University of California, Davis. October 26, 2009. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
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- 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.
- "Scientists Identify Key Smell that Attracts Mosquitoes to Humans". U.S. News & World Report. October 28, 2009. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- "culex". dictionary.com. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- "Mosquito Ecology and Surveillance Laboratory". Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- on the UF / IFAS Featured Creatures Web site
- Culex pipiens at MetaPathogen: facts, life cycle
- Mosquito Chapter in the National Public Health Pesticide Applicator Training Manual