Subgenus Oculeomyia Theobald, 1907

Type species: 

Oculeomyia sarawaki Theobald, 1907 [subjective synonym of Culex infula Theobald, 1901].


Subfamily Culicinae, genus Culex. Subgenus Oculeomyia includes 19 species. See Culex classification, Subgenus Oculeomyia). Subgenus abbreviation – Ocu.


ADULTS – Rather large mosquitoes; maxillary palpus of females comprised of 3 palpomeres, palpus of males with 5 palpomeres, longer than proboscis, palpomere 3 with numerous setae, apex of palpomere 5 with pale scales and setae; proboscis with median pale band, proboscis of male with prominent median ventral tuft of setae; anterior two-thirds of scutum usually covered mainly with pale scales; ante- and postpronota with some narrow scales; postspiracular and prealar areas without scales; lower mesepimeral setae absent; wing completely dark-scaled or lightly to heavily speckled with pale scales; anterior surface of femora and tibiae varying from lightly to heavily speckled with pale scales or completely dark-scaled; tarsomeres with basal and apical pale bands; abdominal terga with basal or apical pale bands or both, sometimes completely dark-scaled. MALE GENITALIA – Tergum IX lobes not produced, with relatively few setae in row; subapical lobe undivided, usually without foliform seta; gonostylus simple, sickle-shaped; inner division of phallosome simple or complex, with or without cluster of finger- or teeth-like processes, sometimes with a subapical lobe bearing 2–4 foliform processes; outer division of phallosome simple and broad, leaf-like or with distinct median, lateral and sternal spines, sometimes largely reduced or not developed; basal sternal process of paraproct varied from short, slender and pale to very long, thick and dark, crown composed of numerous spine-like spicules and a few blades; cercal setae present. LARVAE – Head relatively smaller than other larvae of Culicini; antenna shorter than head, seta 1-A inserted at mid-length; median labral plate not distinguished, completely fused with dorsal apotome (distinction from all other genera of Culicini); maxillary palpus partially fused with maxillary body and hypostomal sclerite fused with cranium; dorsomentum acutely triangular with denticulate or minutely serrated edges; seta 3-P developed similar to setae 1,2-P; seta 7-I similar to seta 6-I, 7-II small like seta 7-III–VI; setae 2,4-VIII with 2–7 branches; comb varied, scales usually large, spine-like, few in number; siphon very long and slender, pecten reduced to a few small spines; seta 1-S comprised of 2.56 pairs of posterolateral elements; saddle complete; seta 1-X short, branched; seta 2-X branched; seta 3-X single; ventral brush (seta 4-X) comprised of 5 or 6 pairs of setae on grid. PUPAE – Trumpet asymmetrically funnel-shaped, pinna with wide opening; setae of cephalothorax except setae 10,11-CT very short; seta 1-II usually single to triple or at most 5-branched; seta 2-II inserted anterolateral to seta 3-II, seta 2-III–VI usually inserted mesad of seta 1 and close to posterior margin of tergum, seta 2-VII variable in position, often inserted mesad of seta 1; seta 6-I,II not very long, seta 6-V,VI distinctly stronger than seta 6-III,IV; seta 9-VIII inserted on sternum, removed from lateral and posterior margins of segment, distinctly shorter than sternum; caudolateral angle of segment acutely produced; paddle varied in pigmentation, outer part wider than inner part, margin practically smooth; seta 1-Pa present, rarely absent, seta 2-Pa present. See genus Culex.

Phylogenetic relationships: 

The evolutionary relationships of Oculeomyia are not clear. Sirivanakarn (1976) suggested that Oculeomyia (as the Bitaeniorhynchus Subgroup of the Sitiens Group of subgenus Culex) is a very old group that may have given rise to the Sitiens Group. Its pairing with Kitzmilleria in the morphology-based phylogenetic study of St John (2007), although not inconceivable, is only supported by the unique development of the larval comb. Species of Oculeomyia were placed among species of subgenus Culex in the phylogenetic study of (Harbach et al., 2012) also based on morphological data.

Bionomics and disease relations: 

The immature stages inhabit all sorts of freshwater ground pools and stagnant streams containing masses of green algae. Little or nothing is known about the bionomics of the adults of most species. Females probably feed on a variety of avian and mammalian hosts. Culex bitaeniorhynchus and Cx. poicilipes are known to bite humans.

Most species of subgenus Oculeomyia are of no medical or economic importance to humans. Culex bitaeniorhynchus is a suspected vector of encephalitic viruses and has been found naturally infected with microfilariae.


Afrotropical, Australasian and Oriental Regions, and far eastern areas of the Palaearctic.

Principal references: 

Sirivanakarn, 1976 (as Bitaeniorhynchus Subgroup of Sitiens Group of subgenus Culex, group and species descriptions, bionomics, distributions); Tanaka, 2004 (sugbeneric status, larval stage, pupal stage, pupae and distributions of two species in Japan).

albinervis Edwards, 1929
annulioris Theobald, 1901
   subspecies annulioris Theobald, 1901
   subspecies consimilis Newstead, 1907 (in Newstead et al., 1907)
aurantapex Edwards, 1914
   subspecies aurantapex Edwards, 1914
   subspecies ellinorae Ovazza, Hamon & Neri, 1956
   subspecies jinjaensis Edwards, 1941
bitaeniorhynchus Giles, 1901
cornutus Edwards, 1922
epidesmus (Theobald, 1910)
geminus Colless, 1955
giganteus Ventrillon, 1906
infula Theobald, 1901
kinabaluensis Sirivanakarn, 1976
longicornis Sirivanakarn, 1976
luzonensis Sirivanakarn, 1976
poicilipes (Theobald, 1903)
pseudosinensis Colless, 1955
samoaensis (Theobald, 1914)
selangorensis Sirivanakarn, 1976
sinensis Theobald, 1903
squamosus (Taylor, 1914)
starckeae Stone & Knight, 1958

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