Skip to main content Accessibility help

Polymorphism in male genitalia of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) scapularis Rondani, 1848

  • V. Petersen (a1) (a2), F. Virginio (a1) (a2) and L. Suesdek (a1) (a3)


Morphology of male genitalia of culicids is generally species-specific and often used as a taxonomic marker. However, some characters of the male genitalia vary intraspecifically and are not taxonomically diagnostic. This might be the case of Aedes scapularis, a Neotropical culicid with vector competence for arboviruses and filarial worms. Males of this species may or not present a retrorse process (RP) in the genitalic claspette filaments, which led authors to suspect that this variance might be indicative of population divergence or incipient speciation process. This suspicion has not been investigated hitherto and it is not known if there are variable patterns of RPs. We hypothesized that the presence of the RP varies intraspecifically in Ae. scapularis and then we statistically evaluated the variability of this character in a single population. To this study the genitalia of 73 males of Ae. scapularis were prepared, and their RPs were meristically quantified and categorized according to the phenotypes observed. We noted that the presence or RPs is a polymorphic character because it varied inter and intra-individually. The presence of a single RP on each claspette filament was the predominant pattern (77%), but absent or multiple RPs in each filament were also found either in bilateral symmetry or asymmetry. Thus, we conclude that the presence of RPs owing to its high variability is not indicative of populational divergence or diagnostic of species complex within Ae. scapularis.


Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence Phone / Fax: +55 11 2627-9785 E-mail:


Hide All

These authors contributed equally to this work.



Hide All
Arnell, J.H. (1976) Mosquito studies (Diptera, Culicidae). XXXIII – a revision of the Scapularis group of Aedes (Ochlerotatus). Contribution of American Entomological Institute 13, 1144.
Consoli, R.A.G.B. & Oliveira, R.L. (1994) Principais mosquitos de importância sanitária no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro, Fiocruz, 228 pp.
Eberhard, W.G. (1985) Sexual Selection and Animal Genitalia. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 244 pp.
Float, K.D. & Fox, A.S. (2000) Flies under stress: a test of fluctuating asymmetry as a biomonitor of environmental quality. Ecological Applications 10, 15411550.
Forattini, O.P. (2002) Culicidologia médica 2. São Paulo, University of São Paulo, Edusp, 860 pp.
Hribar, L.J. (1994) Geographic variation of male genitalia of Anopheles nuneztovari (Diptera: Culicidae). American Mosquito Control Association 26, 132144.
Huber, B.A. (1995) Genital morphology and copulatory mechanics in Anyphaena accentuate (Anyphaenidae) and Clubiona pallidula (Clubionidae: Araneae). Journal of Zoology 235, 689702.
Huber, B.A. (2004) Evidence for functional segregation in the directionally asymmetric male genitalia of the spider Metagonia mariguitarensis (González-Sponga) (Pholcidae: Araneae). Journal of Zoology 262, 317326.
Lorenz, C. & Suesdek, L. (2013) Evaluation of chemical preparation on insect wing shape for geometric morphometrics. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 89, 928931.
Lourenço-de-Oliveira, R. & Deane, L.M. (1995) Presumed Dirofilaria immitis infections in wild-caught Aedes taeniorhynchus and Aedes scapularis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 90, 387388.
Moratore, C. (2009) Genetic and morphological patterns in populations of Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) . Dissertation of Master degree in Science, University of Sao Paulo, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, São Paulo, Brazil.
Motoki, M.T., Santos, C.L.S.D. & Sallum, M.A.M. (2009) intraspecific variation on the aedeagus of Anopheles oswaldoi (Peryassú) (Diptera: Culicidae). Neotropical Entomology 38, 144148.
Mpho, M., Callaghan, A. & Holloway, G.J. (2002) Temperature and genotypic effects on life history and fluctuating asymmetry in a field strain of Culex pipiens . Heredity 88, 307312.
Palmer, A.R. & Strobeck, C. (2003) Fluctuating asymmetry revisited. 279–319 pp. in Polak, M. (Ed.) Developmental Instability (DI): Causes and Consequences. New York, Oxford Univ. Press.
Pauvolid-Corrêa, A., Kenney, J.L., Couto-Lima, D., Campos, Z.M., Schatzmayr, H.G., Nogueira, R.M., Brault, A.C. & Komar, N. (2013) Ilheus virus isolation in the Pantanal, west-central Brazil. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 7, 18.
Peruzin, M.C. (2009) Comparative populational analyses of Culex quinquefasciatus of two sites of Sao Paulo State . Dissertation of Master degree in Science, University of Sao Paulo, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, São Paulo, Brazil.
Petersen, V. (2012) Characterization of three populations of Ochlerotatus scapularis (Rondani, 1848) of the Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo, using morphological and genetic markers . Dissertation of Master degree in Science, University of Sao Paulo, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, São Paulo, Brazil.
Petersen, V., Devicari, M. & Suesdek, L. (2015) High morphological and genetic variabilities of Aedes scapularis, a potential vector of filarias and arboviruses. Parasites & Vectors 8, 128.
Rachou, R.G., Lima, M.M., Neto, J.A.F. & Martins, C.M. (1995) Inquérito epidemiológico de filariose bancroftiana em uma localidade de Santa Catarina, como fase preliminar de uma prova profilática. Constatação de transmissão extradomiciliária por um novo vetor, Aedes scapularis . Revista Brasileira de Malariologia e Doenças Tropicais 7, 5170.
Sallum, M.A.M., Uramoto, K. & Forattini, O.P. (1988) Redescription, and resurrection from synonymy, of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) rhyacophilus Costa Lima, 1933. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 83, 6777.
Sallum, M.A.M., Foster, P.G., Santos, C.L.S.D., Flores, D.C., Motoki, M.T. & Bergo, E.S. (2010) Resurrection of two species from synonymy of Anopheles (Nyssorhynchus) strodei Root, and characterization of a distinct morphological form from the Strodei Complex (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 47, 504526.
Shapiro, S.S. & Wilk, M.B. (1965) An analysis of variance test for normality (complete samples). Biometrika Trust Stable 52, 591611 pp. Available online at
Song, H. & Wenzel, J.W. (2008) Mosaic pattern of genital divergence in three populations of Schistocerca lineata Scudder, 1899 (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Cyrtacanthacridinae). Biology Journal Linnean Society 94, 289301.
Souza, J.M.G.A., Gouveia, M., Perondini, A.L.P. & Selivon, D. (2007) Asymmetry frontal bristles and postocular setae in species and hybrids of the Anastrepha fraterculus complex (Diptera, Tephritidae). Genetics and Molecular Biology 30, 145151.
VanValen, L. (1962) A study of fluctuating asymmetry. Evolution 16, 125142.
Vasconcelos, P.F.C., Costa, Z.G., Travassos da Rosa, E.S., Luna, E., Rodrigues, S.G., Barros, V.L.R.S., Dias, J.P., Monteiro, H.A.O., Oliva, O.F.P., Vasconcelos, H.B., Oliveira, R.C., Sousa, M.R.S., Barbosa Da Silva, J., Cruz, A.C.R., Martins, E.C. & Travassos Da Rosa, J.F.S. (2001) Epidemic of Jungle Yellow Fever in Brazil, 2000: implications of climatic alterations in disease spread. Journal of Medical Virology 65, 598604.
Woods, R.E., Sgro, C.M., Hercus, M.J. & Hoffmann, A.A. (1999) The association between fluctuating asymmetry, trait variability, trait heritability, and stress: a multiply replicated experiment on combined stresses in Drosophila melanogaster . Evolution 53, 493505.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Polymorphism in male genitalia of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) scapularis Rondani, 1848

  • V. Petersen (a1) (a2), F. Virginio (a1) (a2) and L. Suesdek (a1) (a3)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.