Serratus Group

Type species: 

Aedes serratus (Theobald, 1901), original combination: Culex serratus.

Classification: 

Subfamily Culicinae, genus Aedes, subgenus Ochlerotatus. The Serratus Group [of Belkin et al. (1970: 160); Protoculex Group of Wilkerson et al. (2015)] currently includes 10 species.

Characteristics: 

Species of the Serratus Group are differentiated from the other New World Ochlerotatus by features of the adult ornamentation (usually), male genitalia and larvae. Characters that diagnose the Serratus Group (as subgenus Protoculex) in the phylogenetic analyses of Reinert et al. (2008, 2009), based on features observed in Ae. atlanticus, Ae. dupreei, Ae. pertinax, Ae. serratus and Ae. tormentor, are indicated by an asterisk (*).

ADULTS – *Scutal fossal scales all dark; *antepronotal scales absent; *hindtibia entirely dark-scaled; *abdominal tergum III without median dorsobasal pale area. FEMALE GENITALIA –*Cercus index ≥ 4.21; cercal scales present. MALE GENITALIA – *Gonocoxite without dorsomesal basal lobe; *basomesal area of dorsal surface without setae; *gonostylus without subapical seta(e); *claspette with 2 basal lobes, one narrow and columnar with apical claspette filament, other a stouter basolateral caudally directed process bearing various setae. LARVAE – *Seta 6-C 0.21–0.38 length of dorsal apotome; bases of setae 5,6-P connected by narrow arcuate anterior plate; *comb comprised of single row of spine-like comb scales. PUPAE – Caudolateral angles of abdominal segments III–V with denticles. See subgenus Ochlerotatus.

Phylogenetic relationships: 

The Serratus Group was recovered as the sister of the Chrysoconops Group (as subgenus Chrysoconops) in a clade comprised of four species groups ‒ Aculeatus (as subgenus Gilesia) + (Scapularis – as subgenus Ochlerotatus + (Serratus – as subgenus Protoculex + Chrysoconops – as subgenus)) ‒ in the phylogeny of Reinert et al. (2009) based cladistic analyses of morphological data.

Bionomics and disease relations: 

Overall little is known about the bionomics of species of the Serratus Group. As far as known, the immature stages are normally found in shaded or partly shaded temporary or semi-permanent freshwater ground pools in fields and wooded areas. Belkin et al. (1970), however, collected the immature stages of Ae. pertinax from a coral rock hole with brackish water. The females of some species are known to bite humans who enter their haunts during the daytime. Females of Ae. atlanticus are persistent biters in woodland areas in southeastern areas of the United States (Carpenter & LaCasse, 1955).

Aedes atlanticus is known to carry Keystone virus and this species as well as Ae. dupreei and Ae. tormentor are both known to carry West Nile virus in the United States.

Distribution: 

Nearctic and Neotropical Regions – species of the subgenus are known from localities in Argentina, Paraguay and Peru northward to the eastern United States as far north as Michigan and New York.

Principal references: 

Belkin et al., 1970 (as Serratus Group, taxonomy); Reinert et al., 2008 (as subgenus of genus Ochlerotatus, morphology, phylogeny); Reinert et al., 2009 (as subgenus of genus Ochlerotatus, morphology, phylogeny); Wilkerson et al., 2015 (as Protoculex Group, superseded by Serratus Group of Belkin et al., 1970).

Species: 

aenigmaticus Cerqueira & Costa, 1946
atlanticus Dyar & Knab, 1906
dupreei (Coquillett, 1904)
eucephalaeus Dyar, 1918
hastatus Dyar, 1922
nubilus (Theobald, 1903)
oligopistus Dyar, 1918
pertinax Grabham, 1906
serratus (Theobald, 1901)
tormentor Dyar & Knab, 1906

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith