Aedes irritans (Theobald, 1901), original combination: Stegomyia irritans.
Subfamily Culicinae, tribe Aedini, genus Aedes. Subgenus Catageiomyia includes 29 species that were recognised as members of subgenus Aedimorphus prior to the phylogenetic reclassification of Aedini by Reinert et al., (2009). Most of these species were included in the Argenteopunctatus / Mixtus Group and Tarsalis / Filicis Group (except albocephalus) of Edwards (1941) / McIntosh (1975), and the Tarsalis Group (except albocephalus) of Hamon et al. (1961). Aedes adami, Ae. dialloi and Ae. lottei were subsequently placed in the Tarsalis Group by the authors who formally described and named them. Aedes smithburni was included in Catageiomyia when Reinert et al. (2009) removed it from synonymy with Aedimorphus. Aedes irritans is the type species of the subgenus by virtue of being the senior synonym of Catageiomyia senegalensis Theobald, the only species (haplotype) originally included in Catageiomyia. Subgenus abbreviation – Cat.
Characters that define the Catageiomyia clade in the phylogenetic analysis of Reinert et al. (2009) are indicated with an asterisk (*). ADULTS – Decumbent scales of vertex all narrow or some broad; antennal pedicel bare; maxillary palpi dark-scaled; prescutal and posterior fossal maculae consisting of broad silvery-white or narrow white or yellow scales; scutellar scales broad or narrow, silvery-white, sometimes yellow; paratergite often with broad silvery-white scales; postspiracular scales absent or poorly developed; basal bands of abdominal terga absent or reduced, lateral spots silvery-white or snow-white, *lateral setae of males long; tarsi entirely dark-scaled, hindungues simple. FEMALE GENITALIA – Sternum VIII wider than long, apex with a relatively deep median emargination separating broadly rounded lobes, setae 1,2-S long (other setae S absent), inserted on proximal half of sclerite; accessory spermathecal capsules absent (i.e. a single large capsule present) (shared with species of subgenus Elpeytonius); insula tongue-like, long and with a few small distal tuberculi; postgenital lobe moderately long, relatively narrow, apex with relatively deep, median emargination; cercus moderately long, narrow to moderately wide, scales absent, apex relatively narrowly rounded. MALE GENITALIA – Basal mesal lobe of gonocoxite poorly developed; gonostylus with elongate lobe on lateral surface (shared with Elpeytonius), quadrate apical expansion and *two gonostylar claws. LARVAE – Seta 6-C branched (shared with Elpeytonius); seta 5-II longer than seta 3-II (shared with Elpeytonius); *seta 8-P ≥ 1.8 length of seta 4-P; comb of abdominal segment VIII with squamiform or spine-like scales; siphon may be curved dorsally; seta 1-S well developed, placed about level with distal pecten spine or pecten extends well beyond insertion of this seta. PUPAE – Unknown or not studied in detail. See Aedes.
Catageiomyia is sister to Elpeytonius in the morphological phylogeny of Reinert et al. (2009). These two taxa appear to be rather distantly related to subgenus Aedimorphus, in which they were previously assigned. The subgenus may not be monophyletic as it was split into two unsupported clades in the phylogeny recovered in the study of Wilkerson et al. (2015). Likewise, Catageiomyia was not recovered as a monophyletic lineage in the maximum likelihood phylogeny of Soghigian et al. (2017) based on seven molecular markers, where it fell within a clade with nine species of subgenus Aedimorphus and a species of subgenus Polyleptiomyia.
The immature stages of 11 species of subgenus Catageiomyia are unknown and the aquatic habitats of two species have not been recorded. Larvae and pupae of Catageiomyia species have been found in shaded ground and rock pools in forest along stream margins and stream beds, and in temporary pools among grass and along swamp margins. Less common habitats include a borrow pit (Ae. pseudotarsalis) and a crab hole in a stream bed (Ae. veeniae, but possibly washed into the hole). Crab holes and brackish surface pools seem to be the main habitats utilised by Ae. irritans, but larvae of this species have also been found in wells, a boat and roof gutters.
Seven species of subgenus Catageiomyia are known only as adult males, and little bionomical information is known about the females of the other species. Blood-engorged females of Ae. microstictus have been found in goat-baited net traps, and Ae. argenteopunctatus and Ae. filicis have been collected biting humans during daylight hours in coastal evergreen forest in South Africa (Muspratt, 1955; McIntosh, 1975). McIntosh (1975) reported the frequent collection of females, believed to be Ae. mixtus, from humans and large domestic animals on the South African Highveld and the highlands of Zimbabwe.
Aedes argenteopunctatus is known to harbour Semliki Forest virus in coastal areas of Mozambique (McIntosh et al., 1961), and Wesselsbron virus has been isolated from Ae. minutus in Natal (McIntosh, 1975). Aedes veeniae is fairly common in the coastal plain of Natal, where it appears to be confined, but tests on a small number of females have found no evidence of viral infections (McIntosh, 1975).
Species of subgenus Catageiomyia are Afrotropical mosquitoes. They are recorded from the following African countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
adami Geoffroy, 197) argenteopunctatus (Theobald, 1901) bedfordi Edwards, 1936 chamboni Cornet, 1968 dialloi Hamon & Brengues, 1965 falabreguesi Hamon, 1957 filicis Ingram & de Meillon, 1927 grenieri Hamon, Service, Adam & Taufflieb, 1961 hopkinsi Edwards, 1936 insolens Edwards, 1936 irritans (Theobald, 1901) lokojensis Service, 1959 lottei Hamon & Brengues, 1965 microstictus Edwards, 1936 minutus (Theobald, 1901) mixtus Edwards, 1936 mutilus Edwards, 1936 nyounae Hamon & Adam, 1959 phyllolabis Edwards, 1929 pseudotarsalis van Someren, 1946 punctothoracis (Theobald, 1909) reali Hamon & Adam, 1959 stenoscutus (Edwards, 1912) smithburni van Someren, 1950 tarsalis (Newstead, 1907) (in Newstead et al., 1907) veeniae McIntosh, 1975 wendyae Service, 1959 yangambiensis de Meillon & Lavoipierre, 1944 yvonneae Edwards, 1941