Culex modestus

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Culex modestus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Culicidae
Genus: Culex
Subgenus: Barraudius
Species: Cx. modestus
Binomial name
Culex modestus
Ficalbi, 1889.[1]

Culex modestus (no common name) is a species of blood-feeding mosquito of the family Culicidae. It has been experimentally demonstrated to be capable of transmitting West Nile Virus (WNV),[2] and its habit of feeding aggressively on both birds and humans gives it significant potential for transmission of zoonotic infections from birds to humans. It is believed to be the principle bridge vector of WNV between birds and humans in southern France and is thought to have played a role in WNV transmission in the Danube delta, Caspian and Asov sea deltas, and the Volga region in Russia.[3] It has also been implicated in Tahyna virus and Lednice virus transmission in France and Slovakia, respectively.[3]


Cx. modestus has been found to occur in the following countries: Algeria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Mongolia, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.[4] It was recently rediscovered in the United Kingdom, where larval surveys in 2010 and 2011 identified populations in a small area of southeast England.[3][5]


Cx. modestus larvae live in fresh to slightly saline water in irrigation channels, marshes, and rice fields.[6] Adult Cx. modestus females feed on blood of vertebrates, especially birds, horses, and humans; males feed on nectar.[7]


  1. ^ Ficalbi, Eugenio (1889). "Notizie preventive sulle zanzare Italiane. IV. Nota preventiva (1) Descrizione di una specie nuova. Zanzara di colorito modesto, Culex modestus, n.sp.". Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana XXI: 93–94. 
  2. ^ Balenghien T, Vazeille M, Reiter P, Schaffner F, Zeller H, Bicout DJ (June 2007). "Evidence of laboratory vector competence of Culex modestus for West Nile virus". J. Am. Mosq. Control Assoc. 23 (2): 233–6. doi:10.2987/8756-971x(2007)23[233:eolvco];2. PMID 17847861. 
  3. ^ a b c Golding N, Nunn MA, Medlock JM, Purse BV, Vaux AGC, Schafer SM (2012). "West Nile virus vector Culex modestus established in southern England". Parasites & Vectors 5 (1): 32. doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-32. PMC 3295653. PMID 22316288. 
  4. ^ "Culicidae » Culicinae » Culicini » Culex » Barraudius » modestus Ficalbi". Systematic Catalog of Culicidae. Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit. 
  5. ^ Rackley, Adele (9 February 2012). "Disease-spreading mosquito found in UK after 60 years". Planet Earth Online. UK Natural Environment Research Council. 
  6. ^ Becker, N.; Petric, D.; Zgomba, M.; Boase, C.; Madon, M.; Dahl, C.; Kaiser, A. (2010). Mosquitoes and Their Control (2nd ed.). Springer. p. 267. ISBN 978-3-540-92873-7. 
  7. ^ Balenghien T, Fouque F, Sabatier P, Bicout DJ (September 2006). "Horse-, bird-, and human-seeking behavior and seasonal abundance of mosquitoes in a West Nile virus focus of southern France". J. Med. Entomol. 43 (5): 936–46. doi:10.1603/0022-2585(2006)43[936:hbahba];2. PMID 17017231.