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#1 2016-08-15 09:46:18

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 877

Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

I didn't set out to photo mosquitoes, but this small one (<  10 mm body) caught my attention with its amazing antennae, which look like extra legs. It has certain distinctive features, thought the apparently unspotted wings do not stand out in these photos. A wild guess from me would be a male Anopheles plumbeus.

Nigel G.


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#2 2016-08-15 10:22:20

Tony Irwin
DF Members
Name: Tony Irwin
From: Norwich
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 625

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

Ochlerotatus dorsalis male. I think the "antennae, which look like extra legs" you mention are the male palps.

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#3 2016-08-15 10:44:36

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 877

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

Thanks very much, Tony.
Yes, I thought they were part of the antennae, which from an outsider's view seem amazingly complicated, and I didn't know palps could be so elongate.

But I can't find Ochlerotatus dorsalis as a species name under the NBN dictionary, even as a non-preferred name.

Nigel.

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#4 2016-08-15 12:16:19

anymarks
DF Members
Name: Neil Marks
From: Norfolk
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 93

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

Hi Nigel - try Aedes

Regards, Neil

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#5 2016-08-15 14:46:07

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 877

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

Thanks Neil. That sounds like the right name - it certainly has the right visual parameters from images I can see on the web - not that I know what are the precise pointers to an actual ID anyway!

Nigel

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#6 2016-08-15 15:09:52

anymarks
DF Members
Name: Neil Marks
From: Norfolk
Registered: 2009-08-07
Posts: 93

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

Tony is right of course ! - I just meant that the NBN Gateway has it listed under Aedes

Regards, Neil

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#7 2016-08-15 16:50:18

Tony Irwin
DF Members
Name: Tony Irwin
From: Norwich
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 625

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

Sorry, Nigel - I should have indicated that Ochlerotatus is regarded by some as a subgenus of Aedes. I tend to follow the usage as in the Dipterists Forum checklist.

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#8 2016-08-15 21:49:35

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 877

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

I think I'm clear on it now. Thanks Tony.

But I am still a bit puzzled, for various reasons. Using the name Aedes dorsalis, in the USA it's called the Summer Salt Marsh mosquito. It appears from what literature I can see, that it is associated with salt marsh habitats, and though widespread it's not common.

I see it has a IUCN designation of "data deficient", though JNCC web site has a heading of "Data defficient" (!). There are only 28 records on NBN, which does seem a bit sparse. I would also expect the records to be located in areas of potential salt marsh, but all those in the NW quadrant of the UK do not seem to be at all. There are also records from the east and south coast, which look more plausible in that sense. But the data is all quite old, especially the ones in N Wales and NW England. Is there some group not supplying data to NBN - surely the data is not that sparse or ancient!

As to my observation - seen in my garden - a very soggy ex-peat bog, but only about 1 km from the Duddon Mosses salt marsh. So that at least does comply.

I have got the right species, I hope?!

Nigel

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#9 2016-08-15 23:14:48

Tony Irwin
DF Members
Name: Tony Irwin
From: Norwich
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 625

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

Nigel - There is a related species, O. caspius, which can sometimes be difficult to separate from dorsalis. Your specimen has features of both, and although my first reaction was dorsalis, I can't exclude caspius. Hopefully more will come into your garden to bite you*, and you'll be able to secure one for me to have a close look at! Both species are associated with saltmarsh pools, though they can both occur inland in freshwater as well. O. dorsalis is the more local species, but it has been recorded from Foxfield previously. Individuals can travel some distances from the breeding sites, and this individual is very likely to have come from Duddon Mosses.

*females, of course - but either sex would be good to see.

Last edited by Tony Irwin (2016-08-15 23:16:37)

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#10 2016-08-15 23:44:48

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 877

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

Thanks again Tony.

I shall have a check around at the next opportunity for anything like this, and presumably I will hold off recording a specific species until it can (hopefully) be resolved by something more definite than a photo.

There is one last thing that puzzles me, but it may just be a coincidence. The grid ref for the Cumbrian observation is SD4087. There is a Foxfield marked on the OS map, but it seems to be the name of a farm on high ground just to the east of Lake Windermere. But just down the road from my garden is the village of Foxfield, right next to Duddon Mosses. I would have thought that the location of Foxfield village (SD2085) was more plausible than the single farm habitation near Windermere.

So is this just a coincidence, or a confusion of place names when getting a grid ref?

Nigel

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#11 2016-08-16 01:57:56

Tony Irwin
DF Members
Name: Tony Irwin
From: Norwich
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 625

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

I'm certain this is just someone looking up "Foxfield, Cumbria" and writing down the first grid reference that comes up. The Foxfield near Duddon Mosses will be the site for sure. The original record was given in Kidd, L.N. & Brindle, A. 1959 The Diptera of Lancashire and Cheshire Part 1, and is cited in Cranston et al 1987 Adults, larvae and pupae of British Mosquitoes (Culicidae) FBA scientific publication 48. They also refer to an earlier Cumbrian record from Foulshaw Moss.

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#12 2016-08-16 08:38:28

Gateside
DF Members
Name: Nigel Gilligan
From: Cumbria
Registered: 2011-08-26
Posts: 877

Re: Mosquito with antennae like extra legs

Yes, I thought that suggestion was the most likely explanation for the grid reference too. I've not encountered many errors on NBN, but this is the first one of this particular type. Other errors tend to be less subtle..

Would the above location error be an issue for the mosquito recording scheme?

Last edited by Gateside (2016-08-16 09:28:30)

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