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Species Toxorhynchites rutilus - Elephant Mosquito

Slow and steady - Toxorhynchites rutilus - female This handsome brut flew right under my nose - Toxorhynchites rutilis, male. - Toxorhynchites rutilus - male Everything looks like a mosquito - Toxorhynchites rutilus Toxorhynchites rutilus - Elephant Mosquito - Toxorhynchites rutilus - male Elephant mosquito? - Toxorhynchites rutilus - female small crane fly, large midge, something else? - Toxorhynchites rutilus Elephant Mosquito - Toxorhynchites rutilus - female Dolichopodidae? - Toxorhynchites rutilus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Infraorder Culicomorpha (Mosquitoes and Midges)
Family Culicidae (Mosquitoes)
Genus Toxorhynchites
Species rutilus (Elephant Mosquito)
Other Common Names
Treehole Predatory Mosquito
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Toxorhynchites rutilus (Coquillett)
Orig. Comb: Megarhinus rutilus Coquillett 1896
Explanation of Names
Species name rutilus is Latin for "red with hints of yellow". Rutile is a titanium ore, and perhaps that is more the reference--the color of the mosquito is rather metallic (Internet searches).
Two subpsecies (New Jersey Mosquito Biology):
Toxorhynchites rutilus rutilus--southern part of range, including Florida, Georgia, Louisiana
Toxorhynchites rutilus septentrionalis--much of range, north to New York, Connecticut
Wingspan circa 12 mm, body length circa 7 mm

Female and male
Very large, for a mosquito. Body is covered with shiny metallic blue scales. Proboscis prominent and curved upwards. Attracted to flowers.
e US (TX-FL-NY-KS) (Goettle and Adler 2005),(Jenkins 1949),(1)
Deciduous and other forests. Breeds in tree holes and artificial containers (2)
July-September, early October (North Carolina)
Adults take nectar. Larvae feed on aquatic insects, especially other species of mosquites, becoming cannibalistic sometimes. (2)
Life Cycle
Adults are day-fliers (2) Overwinter as late-instar larvae or as adult (southern part of range?). Has been reared for biological control.
Predatory mosquitoes in the genus Toxorhynchites are the most common arthropods which have been used for control of "container-breeding" mosquitoes. The combination of carnivorous larvae and innocuous adults is very attractive in biological control. Successful biological control has been reported using Toxorhynchites species from Japan, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the United States.
Print References
Basham, E.H., J.A. Mulrennan and A.J. Obermuller. 1947. The biology and distribution of Megarhinus in Florida. Mosquito News. 7: 64-66.
Carpenter, S.J. and D.W. Jenkins. 1945. A new state record of Megarhinus rutilus in South Carolina. Mosquito News. 5: 88.
Frank, J.H., G.A. Curtis and G.F. O'Meara. 1984. On the bionomics of bromeliad-inhabiting mosquitoes. Toxorhynchites r. rutilus as a predator of Wyeomyia vanduzeei (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology. 21: 149-158.
Jenkins, D.W. 1949. Toxorhynchites mosquitoes of the United States. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 2: 225-229.
Jones, C. and E. Schreiber. 1994. The carnivores, Toxorhynchites. Wing Beats, 5(4): 4.
Arnett,p. 864 (3)
Brimley, p. 322--Megarhinus septentrionalis (4)
Evans, p. 232 (5)
Internet References
The Carnivores, Toxorhynchites - Rutgers (2008), Jones & Schreiber (1994)
Elephant (or Treehole) Predatory mosquito - Bradley James Goettle and Peter H. Adler (2005)