Research Article: The mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of Nuevo León, Mexico, with descriptions of two new species

Date Published: August 21, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Aldo I. Ortega-Morales, Thomas J. Zavortink, Javier Alfonso Garza-Hernández, Quetzaly K. Siller-Rodríguez, Ildefonso Fernández-Salas, Bi-Song Yue.


To document the diversity and distribution of mosquitoes inhabiting the Mexican state of Nuevo León, collection trips were conducted to all physiographic regions (Grand Northamerican Plains, Coastal Plain of North Gulf, and Sierra Madre Oriental) and subregions across the state. A total of 3,176 specimens were collected. Additionally, we re-examined mosquito specimens in two Mexican entomological collections: The Collection of Insects and Mites of Medical Importance and the Collection of Arthropods of Medical Importance. These represent the two culicid subfamilies Anophelinae and Culicinae, 8 tribes, 12 genera, 25 subgenera, and 64 named species. Of these, 1 tribe, 2 genera, 5 subgenera, and 14 species are new records for the mosquito fauna of Nuevo León. Three undescribed species were collected. Two are described in this study: Aedes (Ochlerotatus) amateuri Ortega & Zavortink n. sp., and Aedes (Protomacleaya) lewnielseni Ortega & Zavortink n. sp. The third belongs to the genus Wyeomyia. Twelve species previously recorded from Nuevo León were not collected during this study. Taxonomic notes, new distribution limits, and comments about the medical importance of some species are reported.

Partial Text

Nuevo León is one of the Mexican states that has been best studied in terms of taxonomy and distribution of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). Since the end of the 1980s, postgraduate degrees in Medical Entomology (masters and doctorates) have been offered at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, in the city of San Nicolás de los Garza. Prior to the present study, the list of mosquitoes known to occur in Nuevo León included 44 species that were documented in previous studies, mostly investigations by students [1–7]. However, most of these studies were conducted only in urban or suburban regions, neglecting the mountane forests and other wild regions of the state, resulting in an incomplete checklist. For this study we conducted collection trips during dry and rainy seasons in all the physiographical regions (Grand Northamerican Plains, Coastal Plain of North Gulf, and Sierra Madre Oriental) and subregions of Nuevo León. A current checklist of the mosquito species that inhabit Nuevo León state is provided in this paper. Also, biological notes are provided for species that reach their distributional limits within the state. The species collected and recorded in this study and those located in existing entomological collections are listed in Table 1. We report the presence of three new species; two are described: Aedes (Ochlerotatus) amateuri Ortega & Zavortink n. sp. and Ae. (Protomacleaya) lewnielseni Ortega & Zavortink n. sp. One species belonging to the genus Wyeomyia is left undescribed until more material becomes available.

A total of 3,176 specimens from 354 collections was studied. Among the specimens were 576 fourth-instar larvae, 420 larval exuviae, 486 pupal exuviae, 50 pupae, 1,105 adult females, 445 adult males, and 94 dissected male genitalia. The mosquito fauna of Nuevo León state consists of 65 species representing the subfamilies Anophelinae and Culicinae, 8 tribes of the subfamily Culicinae, 12 genera, and 25 subgenera (Table 1). One tribe (Sabethini), two genera (Haemagogus and Wyeomyia), five subgenera (Georgecraigius, Howardina, Lewnielsenius, Haemagogus, and Anoedioporpa), and 14 species (Aedes quadrivittatus, Ae. muelleri, Ae. bimaculatus, Ae. trivittatus, Ae. amabilis, Haemagogus equinus, Psorophora cilipes, Culex restrictor, Cx. chidesteri, Cx. erythrothorax, Cx. arizonensis, Orthopodomyia kummi, Toxorhynchites moctezuma, and Uranotaenia coatzacoalcos) are recorded from Nuevo León for the first time. Finally, three new species were discovered, two of which (Ae. amateuri and Ae. lewnielseni) are described herein. The species accumulation curve of 58 of the 65 mosquito species collected is shown in the Fig 2.

Based on our collection records and the known distributions of the mosquito species collected in Nuevo León, three groups of species are recognized. The species of each group have similar geographical distributions, reach their northern or southern distributional limits in the state, and the immature stages of groups 2 and 3 share the same kind of aquatic habitat. The broader distribution of all mosquito species collected in Nuevo León state is summarized in the Table 3.




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