Besides Anopheles, two species of Culex, C. penicillaris and C. pipiens, are also accused of transmitting the larvae.
The genus with which Anopheles is most likely to be confounded is Culex, which is the commonest of all mosquitoes, has a world-wide distribution, and is generally a greedy blood-sucker.
A distinctive feature is the position assumed in resting; Culex has a humpbacked attitude, while in Anopheles the proboscis, head and body are in a straight line, and in many species inclined at an angle to the wall, the tail sticking outwards.
In the female of Culex the palpi are much shorter than the proboscis; in Anopheles they are of the same length.
The wings in Culex have not the same dappled appearance.
The ova of Culex, on the other hand, are deposited in any stagnant water, including cesspools, drains, cisterns, or water collected in any vessel; they float in boat-shaped masses on the surface.
Their alternate hosts are mosquitoes of the Culex genus.
Genera: Oestrus, Tipula, Musca, Tabanus, Culex, Empis, Conops, Asilus, Bombylius, Hippobosca.
The Metanopsilae are made up of the Heteropalpae [palpi long in the male, short in the female; sub-families Culicinae (Culex, &c.) and Heptaphlebomyinae (Heptaphlebomyia)] and Micropalpae [palpi short in both sexes; subfamilies Aedinae (Aedes, &c.) and Haemagoginae (Haemagogus, Uranotaenia, &c.)].
The genus Culex, from which the family takes its name, though it has been similarly split up, is still in its restricted sense larger than any other, and some 200 species are comprised in it alone.
As the common gnat (Culex pipiens), are rarely found away from human habitations; others seldom or never enter houses, but are met with either in more or less open country, or in the recesses of forests and woods.
The eggs are usually deposited on the water itself, and while in the case of certain species, such as Culex pipiens or the widely distributed C. fatigans, they are agglutinated together in masses known as "boats" or "rafts" containing from 50 to 400 ova, those of others, such as the Anophelinae and many Culicinae (e.g.
- Stegomyia calopus (Culex fasciatus, Stegomyia fasciata).
Schaudinn had fully described the relations of certain avian Trypanosomes to their invertebrate host, Culex pipiens (females).
Vertebrate host, Athene noctua, Little Owl; invertebrate host, Culex pipiens.
In the case of filariasis due to Filaria bancrofti, which is common throughout the Tropics, the embryos of the parasite are disseminated by various Culicinae and Anophelinae (Culex pipiens in Queensland; C. fatigans in the West Indies; Myzomyia rossii in India; Pyretophorus costalis in a large portion of tropical Africa; &c.).