Subfamily Culicinae, genus Culex. Subgenus Tinolestes includes three species. See Culex classification, Subgenus Tinolestes). Subgenus abbreviation – Tin.
ADULTS – Small dark unadorned mosquitoes; decumbent scales of vertex narrow; antenna slightly longer than proboscis in females, subequal to proboscis in males; maxillary palpus of females short, apparently with 4 palpomeres, palpomeres 1 and 2 ankylosed; palpus of males approximately half length of proboscis, with 5 palpomeres, palpomeres 1 and 2 ankylosed; proboscis longer than forefemur; scutum with narrow dark falcate scales; acrostichal and dorsocentral setae absent; upper proepisternal setae strongly developed, 20–25 setae present; mesokatepisternum almost entirely covered by broad patch of translucent scales; mesepimeron with distinct central patch of scales and short setae, lower mesepimeral seta absent; metameron with setae; wing and legs dark-scaled; ungues of females simple, fore- and midungues of males enlarged, unequal, larger unguis of foreleg (but not midleg) with tooth, hindungues as in females; abdominal terga dark-scaled with basolateral pale patches. MALE GENITALIA – Tergum IX lobes distinct, flattened, with long erect setae; gonocoxite with few scales; subapical lobe subapical in position, undivided, bearing 3 rods with cup-shaped expanded tips and 6 or 7 setae; gonostylus simple, stout, bearing an external crest; gonostylar claw simple, apical in position; phallosome not columnar, lateral plate with a broadly sclerotised basal hook, a caudally directed sinuous apical process and a sternal spine; paraproct with crown of 22–24 teeth; cercal setae distinct. LARVAE – Head capsule faintly imbricate; antenna with large multi-branched seta 1-A inserted about 0.75 from base; setae 2,3-C absent; seta 3-P much shorter than setae 1,2-P, with multiple weak branches; abdominal seta 2 inserted relatively close to seta 1 within posterior half of terga; setae 1,2-VIII not on common tubercle; comb scales in patch; siphon relatively long and slender; 4 posterolateral pairs of seta 1-S and 2 pairs of anterolateral seta 2a-S beyond pecten; saddle complete, acus absent, posterior margin without spines; seta 1-X with multiple branches; seta 2-X long, with 3 postbasal branches; seta 3-X long, single; ventral brush (seta 4-X) with 6 pairs of setae on grid. PUPAE – Cephalothorax and abdomen evenly pigmented; trumpet moderately long, tracheoid distinct; seta 11-CT always double; seta 2-III inserted mesad of seta 1, seta 2-VI,VII inserted laterad of seta 1; seta 9-VII,VIII double, seta 9-VIII shorter than tergum; tergum VIII not overlapping base of tergum IX; paddle without marginal spicules; seta 1-Pa and seta 2-Pa present. See genus Culex.
Tinolestes shares similarities with other subgenera of the Melanoconion Group, but it appears to be most closely related to subgenus Carrollia based on the absence of dorsocentral setae. A possible sister-group relationship with subgenus Belkinomyia and genera Galindomyia and Deinocerites is supported by the shared ecological association of these taxa with crab holes. In fact, Tinolestes was recovered in a clade that also comprised subgenera Anoedioporpa, Aedinus and Belkinomyia, in a sequentially nested relationship, with two terminal genera, Galindomyia and Deinocerites, in the phylogenetic analyses of Harbach et al. (2012) based on morphological data.
The immature stages are found in crab holes. Adults apparently rest in crab holes. Females are not known to bite humans.
The species of subgenus Tinolestes are not of medical importance to humans.
Central America and Florida, USA.
Berlin & Belkin, 1980 (subgenus and Cx. latisquama, descriptions, bionomics, distributions).