Classification of genus Anopheles began more than 100 years ago with the works of Theobald, who proposed numerous genera based on the character and distribution of thoracic and abdominal scales. These genera were ‘ill-defined and fancifully differentiated', and this led to considerable dissatisfaction with Theobald's system (Knab, 1913). The current system of subgeneric classification is based primarily on the number and positions of specialized setae on the gonocoxites of the male genitalia, and this basis of classification has been accepted since it was introduced by Christophers (1915). Christophers proposed three generic subdivisions which Edwards (1921) and Root (1923) formally recognized as the subgenera Anopheles, Myzomyia (=Cellia) and Nyssorhynchus. Edwards (1932) adopted this system and added subgenus Stethomyia in his classical treatise on family Culicidae. This system recognized Kerteszia as an informal group within subgenus Nyssorhynchus. Kerteszia was elevated to subgeneric status by Komp (1937). Subgenus Lophopodomyia was proposed by Antunes (1937) and subgenus Baimaia by Harbach et al. (2005).
The internal classification of genus Anopheles (see attachment below) is based primarily on the schemes proposed by Edwards (1932), Reid & Knight (1961), Grjebine (1966), Gillies & de Meillon (1968), Reid (1968), Faran (1980) and Linthicum (1988). These schemes were amalgamated and updated by Harbach (1994, 2004, 2013). The classification presented here reflects all taxonomic changes and species recognized to date.
Infrasubgeneric categories have no formal status under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 1999). They are convenience categories only, often based on superficial similarities that may not indicate natural relationships. The informal categories now generally accepted by mosquito systematists include Sections, Series, Groups, Subgroups and Complexes. These are the categories of informal group taxa recognized here. The practice of constructing group names by placing the term denoting the level of classification after the specific name of the group (Reid & Knight, 1961), i.e. Arribalzagia Series rather than Series Arribalzagia, is followed. Furthermore, since informal group names are not regulated by the Code, they are treated as vernacular names in the manner promulgated by Belkin (1962) and explained by Peyton (1990). These names are printed in Roman type with the first letter capitalized even though the name of a nominal species or other formal taxon precedes the term (capitalized) denoting the level of classification, e.g. Maculipennis Group and Gambiae Complex. Alternatively, in situations where this practice might be unacceptable, an italicized binomen or other scientific name may be used in combination with the term (not capitalized) denoting the level of classification, e.g. Anopheles maculipennis group and Myzomyia series. In the case of binomina, the generic name or its abbreviation should always be used in the combination as specific names should not stand alone, except in unusual situations such as the listing of specific epithets assigned to a specified genus, e.g. the classification of Anopheles species presented here.
Taxonomic categories are basically subjective groupings of subordinate taxa that are defined by the included species. Which species are included in individual groups, and which morphological and biological characteristics of these species are used to define the groups, depends entirely upon the judgement and experience of the taxonomist. For this reason it is not possible to provide objective definitions for the various informal categories of classification now recognized within the genus.
Only extant species of Anopheles are included in the classification. Taxa are arranged alphabetically within groups, and the groupings at each level of classification are believed to represent phylogenetically related assemblages of species based principally on morphological similarity. However, some groupings contain one or more species of uncertain relationship with members of subordinate groups. These species are listed before the subordinate groups as unassigned members of the higher taxon. The authorities who first introduced or most recently redefined the informal taxonomic groups are indicated by literature citations. References for species complexes are those that include the first mention or treatment of all the species currently recognized within the group.