Open main menu

Aedes africanus is a species of mosquito that is found on the continent of Africa with the exclusion of Madagascar.[1] Aedes aegypti and Aedes africanus are the two main yellow fever vector species in Zambia.[2] Aedes africanus is mainly found in tropical forests not near wetlands.[3]

Aedes africanus
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Culicidae
Genus: Aedes
A. africanus
Binomial name
Aedes africanus
(Theobald, 1901)

Stegomyia africanus


This mosquito has distinct white and black stripes along its body which help differentiate the genus from others in this family.[4] Females of this species are ectoparasites and can most often be found on mammals living in the tropical forests of Africa.[4] The africanus species can be distinguished from other mosquitoes in the genus Aedes by having white scales on the maxillary palpi, scutum with a patch of large white scales, and 3 large white patches on the mid-femur.[4]

Life cycleEdit

The lifecycle of mosquitoes in the Aedes genus.

This species lays its eggs in holes in trees, cut bamboo, bamboo stumps, and tree forks.[4][5] In laboratory settings, it was observed that the larvae hatch best at 27 °C and the quantity of water was not a factor in embryonic development but we most often laid within 2 cm of the water surface.[3]

Aedes africanus adults are crepuscular feeders, meaning they feed from dusk to dawn.[6] Although this species is a vector for many diseases, because it is mainly found in forests, primates are its main source of blood meals.[6] Early studies of its populations suggest that when sampled in forested areas, it made up 95% of the caught species and only 50% in surrounding villages.[7] When populations are high enough, Toxorhynchites mosquitoes can be brought in as a biological control as they parasitize africanus larvae in the shared breeding habitat.[8]

Medical importanceEdit

Very closely related to Aedes africanus, this Aedes aegypti mosquito is also a very important vector of the yellow fever virus.

This species of mosquito is an essential yellow fever vector in wooded habitats.[3] In addition to being a major vector of yellow fever, Aedes africanus also vectors pathogens such as dengue virus, West Nile virus, and Rift Valley fever virus.[1][9] It is also a vector of Zika virus, the causal agent of Zika fever.[10]


  1. ^ a b Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit, Systematic Catalog of Culicidae, "Systematic Catalog of Culicidae". Archived from the original on 2015-11-29. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  2. ^ Masaninga, F.; Muleba, M.; Masendu, H.; Songolo, P.; Mweene-Ndumba, I.; Mazaba-Liwewe, M.; Kamuliwo, M.; Ameneshewa, B.; Siziya, S.; Babaniyi, O. (2014). "Distribution of yellow fever vectors in the Northwestern and Western provinces, Zambia". Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 7 (1): S88–S92. doi:10.1016/s1995-7645(14)60210-8.
  3. ^ a b c Sempala, S (1981). "Some laboratory observations on the biology of Aedes (Stegomyia) africanus". Insect science and its application. 2 (3): 189–195. doi:10.1017/s1742758400001004.
  4. ^ a b c d Huang, Y (1990). "The subgenus Stegomyia of Aedes in the Afrotropical region. I. The africanus group of species (Diptera: Culicidae)". Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. 26 (1): 3–90.
  5. ^ Schaeffer, B.; Mondet, B.; Touzeau, S. (2008). "Using a climate-dependent model to predict mosquito abundance: Application to Aedes (Stegomyia) africanus and Aedes (Diceromyia) furcifer (Diptera: Culicidae)". Genetics and Evolution. 8 (4): 422–432. doi:10.1016/j.meegid.2007.07.002.
  6. ^ a b Ross, R.; Gillett, J. (1950). "The cyclical transmission of yellow fever virus through the Grivet monkey, Cercopithecus aethiops centralis Neumann, and the Mosquito Aedes (Stegomyia) africanus Theobald". Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology. 44 (4): 351. doi:10.1080/00034983.1950.11685460.
  7. ^ Bang, Y.; Brown, D.; Arata, A. (1980). "Ecological studies on Aedes africanus (Diptera: Culicidae) and associated species in southeastern Nigeria". Journal of Medical Entomology. 17 (5): 411–416. doi:10.1093/jmedent/17.5.411.
  8. ^ Sempala, S (1982). "Interactions between immature Aedes africanus (Theobald) and larvae of two predatory species of Toxorhynchites (Diptera: Culicidae) in Zika Forest, Uganda". Bulletin of Entomological Research. 73 (1): 19–24. doi:10.1017/s0007485300013754.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Hayes, Edward B. (2009). "Zika Virus Outside Africa". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 15 (9): 1347–1350. doi:10.3201/eid1509.090442. PMC 2819875. PMID 19788800.