Psorophora ciliata

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Psorophora ciliata (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Judy Gallagher
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Psorophora ciliata (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Judy Gallagher
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Psorophora ciliata (Fabricius, 1794)

This mosquito is found in the Americas and feeds on different mammals, including humans. It has been shown to carry a number of viruses like the Eastern equine encephalitis virus and might transmit these. Females usually lay eggs in flood water which overwinter and hatch in the coming year when the first rains fall. The larvae are mainly predators, feeding for example on mosquito larvae and other insects. Under ideal conditions, they can develop to adults within a week.

P. ciliata is unusually large with females having a wingspan of 6-7 mm. Other characteristic features are a longitudinal yellowish band along the middle of the thorax, yellowish scales on the proboscis and thick, dark scales on the hindlegs giving these a 'feathery' appearance.