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A New Nomenclature for the Chaetotaxy of the Mosquito Pupa, Based on a Comparative Study of the Genera (Diptera: Culicidae)

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Until rather recently the mosquito pupa has usually been neglected by taxonomic workers. However, as the number of known mosquito species has increased, the necessity for additional species identification characters has caused an increased amount of attention to be directed to the pupal stage, with the result that it has frequently been found to possess good differentiating characters. A morphological nomenclature, expressive to the greatest extent possible of homologies between species, is, of course, absolutely essential to the taxonomist. To be completely adequate such a nomenclature should also be indicative of homologies from segment to segment within the individual. Such an ideal nomenclature is best obtained by doing a broad preliminary comparative study of representative members of the group being considered. Unfortunately, the nomenclature of mosquito pupal chaetotaxy in common use today did not develop in this manner and, as a result, when previously unstudied genera are met with, the nomenclature is frequently most difficult to apply. For at least two additional reasons all of the available systems, of pupal hair designations are considered by us to be unsatisfactory. First, none of them include all of the known elements of the chaetotaxy and second, the systems all employ mixed types of name designations words, numerals, symbols, and letters, a condition which introduces unnecessary difficulties into the mechanical handling of the nomenclature. The work reported on here was undertaken in an attempt to devise a pupal hair nomenclature based on a comparative study of all the genera of the subfamily Culicinae. All of the pupal hairs and hairless setal rings have been considered, and every effort was taken to make the proposed nomenclature as mechanically simple as possible.


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  • Biology

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