Photo Courtesy of Jason Williams

Photo Courtesy of Jason Williams

Very small mosquito

Proboscis: long, dark-brown scaled, often with a few iridescent blue scales sprinkled on basal half, swollen apically…looks like arrowhead shape.

Palpi: very short, dark-scaled.

Head: Occiput clothed with dark bronze, broad appressed scales, margin anteriorly and laterally with broad iridescent bluish scales, vertex with a patch of blue scales. Tori light brown, naked.

Thorax: Integument of scutum light brown; scutum clothed with narrow golden to dark-brown scales; a narrow median line of broad iridescent bluish scales extending nearly the entire length of the scutum and covering most of the middle lobe of the scutellum; a similar line of iridescent bluish scales on lateral margin of the scutum reaching from the base of the wing to the scutal angle; patches of iridescent scales also present on anterior pronotal lobe and on the mid-part of the sternopleuron. A single spiracular bristle present; postspiracular bristles absent.

Abdomen: Tergites clothed with brown scales with metallic luster; apices of third, fifth, and often the sixth segment with a rounded median patch of white scales. Sternites with dingy pale-brown scales. Eighth segment blunt, largely retracted within the seventh.

Legs: dark-brown-scaled except for a small patch of bluish-white scales at apices of femora and tibiae and yellowish scales on the posterior surface of femora.

Wings: length 2.5 to 2.7 mm. scales broad, brown, with a row of iridescent bluish scales on the stem of vein 5 and a much shorter row near the base of vein 1; second marginal cell much shorter than its petiole.

Bionomics: Larvae occur in permanent pools and ponds, lakes and swamps that contain emergent or floating vegetation exposed to sunlight. This mosquito is commonly associated with Anopheles quadrimaculatus say in its larval habitats in Southern U.S. Larvae may be found throughout most of year. Most believe that U. sapphirina feeds on reptiles and frogs and not on man. They rest during the day in culverts, hollow trees and vegetation. They overwinter as adult females in shelters such as hollow trees. They are attracted to light.