Aedes aegypti

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Aedes aegypti
Aedes aegypti biting human.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Culicidae
Genus: Aedes
Species: A. aegypti
Binomial name
Aedes aegypti
(Linnaeus, 1762)

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Aedes aegypti, commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, is a mosquito that can host the dengue fever, Chikungunya and yellow fever viruses (and other diseases as well). One group of researchers recently proposed that A. aegypti be renamed Stegomyia aegypti [1], but this proposal has yet to be widely accepted by the scientific community. The mosquito can be recognized by white markings, although other mosquitos may have only slightly different patterns.[citation needed] The mosquito is most frequently found in the tropics[2]; it has some presence in the southeastern United States (such as the lower half of Florida), but it seems to have been competitively displaced by the introduction of Aedes albopictus[citation needed].


It is smaller in comparison to other mosquitoes, usually between 3 to 4 mm in length. [3]It is totally black apart from white 'spots' on the body and head regions and white rings on the legs.

Genetic mapping

The genome of this species of mosquito was mapped, and published on 2007-05-17. The effort in mapping its DNA was intended to provide new avenues for research into insecticides and possible genetic modification to prevent the spread of disease. This was the second mosquito species to have its genome mapped in full. The first was Anopheles gambiae. The published data included the 1.38 billion base pairs containing the insect's estimated 15,419 protein encoding genes. The sequence indicates that the species diverged from Drosophila melanogaster (the common fruit fly) about 250 million years ago, and that Anopheles gambiae and this species diverged about 150 million years ago.[4][5]

Spread of disease and prevention

The CDC traveler's page on preventing dengue fever suggests using mosquito repellents that contain DEET (N, N-diethylmetatoluamide). It also explains the following:

1) Although it may feed at any time, the mosquito bites humans only between a few hours after dawn until an hour or so after sunset.

2) The mosquito's preferred breeding areas are in areas of stagnant water, such as flower vases, uncovered barrels, buckets, and discarded tires, but the most dangerous areas are wet shower floors and toilet bowls, as they allow the mosquitos to breed right in the residence.



  1. Reinert, J. F., R. E. Harbach & I. J. Kitching (2004). "Phylogeny and classification of Aedini (Diptera: Culicidae), based on morphological characters of all life stages". Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 142: 289–368. Unknown parameter |quotes= ignored (help)
  2. Womack, M. (1993). "The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti". Wing Beats. 5 (4): 4.
  3. Roland Mortimer. "Aedes aegypti and Dengue fever". Retrieved 2007-05-19.
  4. Heather Kowalski (2007-05-17). "Scientists at J. Craig Venter Institute Publish Draft Genome Sequence from Aedes aegypti, Mosquito Responsible for Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever". J. Craig Venter Institute. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. "Genome Of Yellow Fever/dengue Fever Mosquito Sequenced". ScienceDaily. 2007-05-18. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. "Public Health Image Library (PHIL)".

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