Uranotaenia Lynch Arribálzaga, 1891. [The subfamily name Uranotaeniinae is attributed to Lahille (1904) (as Uranotaenina), not Coquillett (1906) (as Uranotaeniinae). In accordance with the Principle of Coordination (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 1999: Article 36.1), Lahille (1904) is considered to have simultaneously established the coordinate tribal name Uranotaeniini.]
Subfamily Culicinae. Uranotaeniini includes 271 species assigned to a single genus, Uranotaenia.
Species of tribe Uranotaeniini are small mosquitoes that bear the following characteristics. ADULTS - Maxillary palpus very short, consisting of a single palpomere; wing membrane with extremely minute and numerous microtrichia that are not visible at lower magnification, scales of the veins usually all broad and small, truncate or rounded apically, cell R2 shorter than vein R2+3 and never longer than cell M2, vein M usually without scales on basal three quarters of dorsal surface (rarely with a few scattered scales), vein 1A sharply curved distally and ending before junction of mediocubital crossvein and vein CuA; female with a single large spermathecal capsule. LARVAE - Seta 1-C arising on a distinct apical process of the median labral plate; seta 14-C near anterior margin at base of maxilla; hypostomal suture absent; segment VIII usually with a sclerotised plate bearing a single row of comb scales on the posterior margin; siphon with a single pair of posterolateral setae (seta 1-S) arising beyond basal quarter; siphon usually with few to many pecten spines. PUPAE - Paddle with inner half deeply excavated toward the base, toothed or with filamentous fringe on inner and outer margins. See Culicinae.
The affinities of Uranotaeniini with the other tribes of subfamily Culicinae are uncertain. It is usually regarded as one of the most primitive groups of Culicinae. It shares morphological features with Anophelinae, Aedeomyiini, Toxorhynchitini and certain other groups. See genus Uranotaenia.
The immature stages of most species of the tribe are found in swamps, marshes, stream margins and temporary ground pools. A large number of species also inhabit crab holes, rock holes, tree holes, bamboo, fallen plant parts, leaf axils, inflorescences and pitcher plants. A few species are sometimes found in artificial containers. Species that utilise ground pools lay their eggs in rafts. The larvae rest parallel to the surface and are often mistaken for anopheline larvae. Species that utilise small collections of water in plant containers apparently lay their eggs individually. Little or nothing is known about the bionomics of most species. The feeding preferences of females are largely unknown. At least some species apparently feed on amphibians and birds, and the females of a few species will bite humans. A species of subgenus Uranotaenia, Ur. sapphirina, is known to feed on earthworms and leeches. Several species are known to be active in shaded places during daylight hours.
Species of the tribe are not of medical or economic importance to humans.
Species of Uranotaenia occur in all zoogeographic regions but are absent from New Zealand, New Caledonia and numerous oceanic islands. The majority of species are found in the Old World tropics.