Culex corniger Theobald, 1903a.
Subfamily Culicinae, genus Culex. Subgenus Phenacomyia includes three species. See Culex classification, Subgenus Phenacomyia). Subgenus abbreviation – Phc.
ADULTS – Medium-sized species with moderate degree of ornamentation; decumbent scales of vertex narrow; proboscis with ventral patch of pale scaling beyond mid-length; maxillary palpus of females with 3 palpomeres, palpus of males with 5 palpomeres, longer than proboscis; scutum with conspicuous pale scaling extending as lateral band from anterior dorsocentral line to anterior part of supraalar area, with less conspicuous narrow extension dorsally at scutal angle often appearing as small spot at termination, and on either side of prescutellar space; upper mesepimeral scales absent; 1–5 lower mesepimeral setae present; wing dark-scaled; tarsi with narrow pale bands across joints; abdominal terga with basal pale markings. MALE GENITALIA – Resembling those of the Pipiens Group of subgenus Culex; tergum IX lobes slightly produced, each bearing numerous (12–29) setae in 3–5 rows; subapical lobe of gonocoxite with setal group d-f represented by one small hair-like setae (f); lateral plate of phallosome without inner division, outer division complex, dorsal arm small or absent; paraproct with dense crown of spicules, with prominent basal sternal process; cercal setae present. LARVAE – Antenna short, about 0.35 length of head, cylindrical, slightly if at all narrowed distally, seta 1-A weakly developed, with few short branches, inserted at mid-length of antennal shaft; maxilla rectangular, maxillary brush reduced, brush and pilosa area on dorsal surface removed laterad of maxillary suture, setae 4,5-Mx relatively far apart, seta l-Mx inserted about 0.67 from base of maxilla; setae 4–7-C inserted in more or less straight transverse line; seta 8-C inserted anterior to seta 9-C, usually single, longer than seta 10-C; seta 14-C inserted slightly posterior to seta 13-C; seta 3-P with 3 or 4 branches, shorter than setae 1,2-P; seta 7-II as large as seta 7-I; siphon short, with prominent dorsal seta at mid-length, elements of seta 1-S largely inserted within length of pecten; saddle complete, short, usually with short spine-like marginal spicules; setae 2,3-X single; ventral brush (seta 4-X) with 7 pairs of setae on grid. PUPAE – Trumpet short and strongly flared, pinna length less than diameter at apex; seta 6-I,II hardly if at all longer than seta 7-I,II; seta 2-II inserted lateral to seta 3-II, seta 2-III–VII inserted mesal to seta 1; seta 9-VII,VIII not strongly developed, distinctly shorter than tergum; seta 1-Pa present, seta 2-Pa present or absent. See genus Culex.
The phylogenetic relationships of Phenacomyia are not clear. It appears to be an ancient group that shares affinities with subgenus Culex and genus Lutzia. Species of Phenacomyia were placed among species of subgenus Culex in phylogenetic studies of both morphological and molecular data (Deus, 2009; Vesgueiro et al., 2011; Demari-Silva et al., 2011; Harbach et al., 2012).
Larvae are found in a wide variety of permanent or semi-permanent ground waters, such as puddles, ditches, stream pools and rock holes, and container habitats, including broken or cut bamboo, tree holes, leaf axils of aroids and ground bromeliads, flower bracts of Heliconia, fallen leaves, coconut shells and occasionally artificial containers. Females feed on mammals and birds and occasionally bite humans.
Whether or not species of subgenus Phenacomyia are of medical importance is unknown.
Neotropical Region from Mexico to Uruguay.