Yellow Fever Mosquito

Aedes aegypti

yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, photo © by Mike Plagens

This mosquito was found attacking my ankle after entering my Phoenix, Arizona, home in May 2011. Notice the black and white banded legs and the array of white spots along the length of the nearly black abdomen. It is partially crushed :-)

Culicidae -- Mosquito Family

Without a carrier or host reservoir of Yellow Fever virus in the Sonoran Desert the bite of this mosquito will not transmit Yellow Fever in the Sonoran Desert.

This mosquito certainly does not belong in the Sonoran Desert. As the species name indicates its original range includes Egypt and it is widespread in the tropics and subtropics of the Old World. The larvae develop in stagnant water collected in especially man-made containers. Containers with water have been carelessly transported around the World and as a result this pest, among many kinds of mosquitoes, has become established far from its origin.

Aedes aegypti is very active at dawn and dusk and readily enters dwellings in search of blood meals. Their dark color and small size together with aggressive tactics makes them especially annoying. As disease vectors (dengue is another) they should not be ignored and desert dwellers must make every effort to eliminate standing water such as in pots, fountains and neglected swimming pools. This mosquito is also the primary vector for the Zika Virus. Given the abundance of A. aegypti in the cosmopolitan urban areas of Arizona it is only a matter of time before this virus is transmitted locally by mosquitoes.

More Information:

Sponsored Links:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 16 May 2011,
updated 3 Aug. 2016.