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Aedes is a genus of small mosquitoes that usually have black and white stripes on their bodies and legs. First described and named by Meigen in 1818, the name comes from the Ancient Greek aēdēs, meaning "unpleasant" or "odious". The genus Aedes is undergoing taxonomic reorganization according to recent morphological analyses by Reinert et al. Because the species involved in these reorganizations are of medical and public health importance, associated name changes have been ignored by most scientists; at least one scientific journal, the Journal of Medical Entomology, has officially encouraged authors dealing with aedine mosquitoes to continue to use the traditional names, unless they have particular reasons for doing so. In the old classification (used here), the genus Aedes includes about 900 species.

These mosquitoes were originally found only in tropical and subtropical zones, but are now found world-wide in all faunal regions, where they have been spread by humans. Some species of this genus transmit serious diseases, including dengue fever and yellow fever and other arboviruses. A few species also transmit the helminths that cause Brugian and Bancroftian filariasis. A few of the important disease vector species are:

Aedes aegypti, the classical vector of urban yellow fever and dengue fever viruses in tropical regions,

A. africanus and A. bromeliae, which transmit yellow fever virus in Africa

A. albopictus, vector of dengue fever virus in the Oriental Region and recently introduced into the USA, Central America, Brazil, southern Europe (Albania and Italy), and Africa (Nigeria)

A. vigilax transmits Bancroftian filariasis in New Caledonia and several viruses (e.g., Ross River virus) in Australia.

A. sierrensis and A. atlanticus are important vectors of dog heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in North America.

(Editors of The Journal of Medical Entomology; Polaszek 2006; Wikipedia 2011; Wikipedia 2011b; WRBU)


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