Updating the mosquito fauna occurring in a specific area is crucial, given that certain species serve as vectors capable of transmitting zoonotic arboviruses. This scientific note presents the first records of mosquitoes of the tribe Orthopodomyiini in the Yucatan Peninsula. Immature mosquitoes were collected on 2 occasions inside a large tree hole in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Thirteen adult specimens, reared from the immatures, were obtained and identified as Orthopodomyia kummi based on external characteristics of females and males. This species has been recorded in Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and marginally in the United States, but its presence in the Yucatan Peninsula had gone unnoticed until now. The knowledge about mosquitoes of the genus Orthopodomyia is limited, and their epidemiological importance remains uncertain. Therefore, further studies could provide insights into the ecological and infection dynamics associated with this species.

Mosquitoes of the tribe Orthopodomyiini are distributed in most tropical and warm temperate areas worldwide (Wilkerson et al. 2021). This tribe includes only the genus Orthopodomyia, represented in the Americas by 8 species and an informally described Mexican highlands form. Among the valid species, Or. alba Baker and Or. signifera (Coquillett) are mainly restricted to the Nearctic region, Or. waverleyi (Grabham) is endemic to Jamaica, while Or. albicosta (Lutz in Bourroul), Or. fascipes (Coquillett), Or. kummi Edwards, Or. phyllozoa (Dyar and Knab), and Or. sampaioi da Costa Lima are distributed in the continental part of the Neotropical region (Zavortink 1968). Overall, the genus Orthopodomyia is poorly known, and its epidemiological relevance remains uncertain (Byrd et al. 2012). Therefore, further studies could provide insights into the role played by this species in ecological and infection dynamics.

The Yucatan Peninsula is a biogeographic province of the Neotropical region encompassing the states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán in Mexico, as well as the northern portion of Guatemala and Belize below 300 m above sea level (Morrone 2014). This biogeographic province is predominantly flat and characterized by a tropical wet/dry climate, with minimum and maximum monthly mean temperatures ranging from 23.6°C and 31.6°C and an average annual rainfall of 1,200 mm distributed over 160 days. There is a significant decrease in rainfall during the winter months from November to April. The eastern coast (including Cozumel Island) is significantly wetter, corresponding to a tropical wet climate, while the northern coast is considerably drier, corresponding to a semiarid environment (Torrescano-Valle and Folan 2015).

During field campaigns for the PRONAII (Proyectos Nacionales de Investigación e Incidencia) project, samples of mosquitoes were collected in various aquatic habitats across the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula. Immature mosquitoes were collected with pipettes, placed into plastic bottles labeled with a collection code, and transported alive to the laboratory. Individuals were then reared until adult emergence and mounted on entomological pins. Voucher specimens were stored in the entomological collection of the International Joint Laboratory ELDORADO (Ecosystem, Biological Diversity, Habitat Modifications and Risk of Emerging Pathogens and Diseases in Mexico), UNAM-IRD (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México–Institut de Recherche pour le Développement), Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.

In April 2022 and October 2023, samplings were conducted in a remnant forest located near the Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas (INPI) in the northern part of the city of Felipe Carrillo Puerto in the state of Quintana Roo (19.587461°N, 88.042°W). The forest in this area has typical trees of the region, such as Bursera simaruba (L.) Sarg., Lysiloma latisiliquum (L.) Benth, Manilkara zapota (L.) P. Royen, Metopium brownei (Jacq.) Urb., and Vitex gaumeri Greenm. The soil of the forest belongs to the well-known Yucatecan Carso, with flat rocky soil, slight depressions, and a few deep holes.

On these occasions, a large tree hole contained 13 adult specimens (6 females and 7 males with associated immature exuviae) belonging to the tribe Orthopodomyiini. Adult males and females were identified under a stereomicroscope as Or. kummi using the specific taxonomic key of Orthopodomyia provided by Zavortink (1968). This species is easily separated in the adult stage from other species of Orthopodomyia by the following: (1) wing largely or completely dark-scaled except for a conspicuous white-scaled line on vein R from the base to the separation of vein Rs, which is limited to the region of remigium in the Mexican highlands form, vein 1A dark-scaled, a variable but always small number of scattered light scales sometimes present in radial and subcostal fields (Fig. 1a), and (2) thoracic pleuron with 3 very narrow discrete longitudinal lines of white scales, the lowest line continued anteriorly across prosternum to form a complete or nearly complete band anteriorly (Fig. 1b) (McDonald and Belkin 1960, Zavortink 1968).

Orthopodomyia kummi has been recorded in Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and marginally from the United States in southeastern Arizona (Zavortink 1968). However, its presence in the Yucatan Peninsula, including northern Guatemala and Belize, had not been reported until now (Clark-Gil and Darsie 1983, Pecor et al. 2002, Talaga et al. 2023). In Mexico, Or. kummi was initially recorded in the states of Chiapas, Puebla (de Buen 1953), and Veracruz (Díaz Nájera 1963). Later, specimens were reported in Baja California Sur, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and San Luis Potosí by Zavortink (1968). More recently, Or. kummi has been recorded in Durango (Pérez-Santiago et al. 2018) and Nuevo León (Ortega-Morales et al. 2019). It is probable that Or. kummi also inhabits the neighboring Mexican states of Campeche and Yucatán.

Immature stages of Orthopodomyia typically inhabit tree holes, although they have been occasionally found in artificial containers (Hanson et al. 1995, Woodward et al. 1998, Qualls and Mullen 2006). In this study, larvae were collected from a 30-cm-diam and 40-cm-deep tree hole of Mangifera indica L. situated 1 m above the ground. The water exhibited a reddish coloration, with a significant amount of organic matter deposited at the bottom. This situation is consistent with known preferences of Orthopodomyia for large permanently filled tree holes, but also indicates that introduced species of trees can serve as immature habitat. During both visits, Orthopodomyia were found together with larvae of Toxorhynchites moctezuma (Dyar and Knab), which are obligate predators of macroinvertebrates, including mosquito larvae (Donald et al. 2020). This scenario is reminiscent of the field association between Or. signifera and Tx. septentrionalis (Dyar and Knab) reported in central New Jersey in the United States (Farajollahi et al. 2009). Orthopodomyia signifera was classified as predator-resistant by Bradshaw and Holzapfel (1983), mainly because they have longer and stouter bristles compared to other container mosquitoes, which might potentially reduce prey capture success by Toxorhynchites larvae. Additionally, behavioral adaptations aimed at predator avoidance in Orthopodomyia are also expected to play an important role in their survival in the presence of Toxorhynchites (Farajollahi et al. 2009).

There is limited understanding regarding the vectorial capacity of Orthopodomyia mosquitoes to transmit pathogens in Mexico. Vargas (1960) reported Or. signifera as a vector of eastern equine encephalitis virus among mosquito species in Sonora. Since Or. kummi feeds on wild birds, this behavior may amplify its role in maintaining the circulation of arboviruses in sylvan environments (Zavortink 1968). Further studies are necessary to understand the ecological and epidemiological roles of Orthopodomyia in the Yucatan Peninsula as human-wildlife contact rates increase.

This note presents the first record of the tribe Orthopodomyiini in the Yucatan Peninsula, further documenting the distribution of Orthopodomyia mosquitoes across the Americas.

This study was funded by the National Council of Humanities, Science, and Technology (CONAHCYT) of Mexico through the PRONACES (Programas Nacionales Estratégicos) health project “Biological Diversity, Socio-ecosystems, and Emerging Viral Diseases in Mexico” (PRONAII, Project Number 303002). Roger Arana-Guardia receives financial support as an associated researcher at PRONAII. We express our gratitude to the field staff members of the International Joint Laboratory ELDORADO for their support in this research.

Bradshaw
WE,
Holzapfel
CM.
1983
.
Predator-mediated, non-equilibrium coexistence of tree-hole mosquitoes in southeastern North America
.
Oecologia
57
:
239
256
.
Byrd
BD,
Harrison
BA,
Zavortink
TJ,
Wesson
DM.
2012
.
Sequence, secondary structure, and phylogenetic analyses of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) in members of the North American Signifera Group of Orthopodomyia (Diptera: Culicidae)
.
J Med Entomol
49
:
1189
1197
.
Clark-Gil
S,
Darsie
RF.
1983
.
The mosquitoes of Guatemala, their identification, distribution and bionomics, with keys to adult females and larvae
.
Mosq Syst
15
:
151
294
.
de Buen
AM.
1953
.
Orthopodomia kummi Edwards, 1939, mosquito nuevo para México. Descripción de la pupa y de la larva. (Diptera, Culicidae)
.
An Inst Bio
23
:
243
252
.
Díaz Nájera
A.
1963
.
Lista de mosquitos capturados en tres localidades del estado de Veracruz, Mexico
.
Rev Inst Salubr Enferm Trop
23
:
187
192
.
Donald
CL,
Siriyasatien
P,
Kohl
A.
2020
.
Toxorhynchites species: a review of current knowledge
.
Insects
11
:
747
.
Farajollahi
A,
Kesavaraju
B,
Nelder
MP,
Crans
SC,
Gaugler
R.
2009
.
An unusual larval collection and survival of Orthopodomyia signifera in the presence of the predator Toxorhynchites rutilus septentrionalis
.
J Am Mosq Control Assoc
25
:
370
373
.
Hanson
SM,
Novak
RJ,
Lampman
RL,
Vodkin
MH.
1995
.
Notes on the biology of Orthopodomyia in Illinois
.
J Am Mosq Control Assoc
11
:
375
376
.
McDonald
WA,
Belkin
JN.
1960
.
Orthopodomyia kummi new to the United States (Diptera: Culicidae)
.
Proc Ent Soc Wash
62
:
249
250
.
Morrone
JJ.
2014
.
Biogeographical regionalization of the Neotropical region
.
Zootaxa
3782
:
1
110
.
Ortega-Morales
AI,
Zavortink
TJ,
Garza-Hernández
JA,
Siller-Rodríguez
QK,
Fernández-Salas
I.
2019
.
The mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of Nuevo León, Mexico, with descriptions of two new species
.
PLoS ONE
14
:
e0217694
.
Pecor
JE,
Harbach
RE,
Peyton
EL,
Roberts
DR,
Rejmankova
E,
Manguin
S,
Palanko
J.
2002
.
Mosquito studies in Belize, Central America: records, taxonomic notes, and a checklist of species
.
J Am Mosq Control Assoc
18
:
241
276
.
Pérez-Santiago
G,
Hernández-Amparan
S,
Ibáñez-Bernal
S,
Correa-Ramírez
MM.
2018
.
Primer reporte de mosquitos del área urbana de la Ciudad de Durango, Dgo
.
Rev Lat Amb Cienc
21
:
805
820
.
Qualls
WA,
Mullen
GR.
2006
.
Larval survey of tire-breeding mosquitoes in Alabama
.
J Am Mosq Control Assoc
22
:
601
608
.
Talaga
S,
Le Goff
G,
Arana-Guardia
R,
Baak-Baak
CM,
García-Rejón
JE,
García-Suárez
O,
Rodríguez-Valencia
VM,
Tolsá-García
MJ,
Suzán
G,
Roiz
D.
2024
.
The mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula: a comprehensive review on the use of taxonomic names
.
J Med Entomol
61
:
274
308
.
Torrescano-Valle
N,
Folan
W.
2015
. Physical settings, environmental history with an outlook on global change. In:
Islebe
G,
Calmé
S,
León-Cortés
J,
Schmook
B
, eds.
Biodiversity and conservation of the Yucatán Peninsula
.
Cham, Switzerland
:
Springer
. p
9
37
.
Vargas
L.
1960
.
Los mosquitos de Sonora en relación con el problema de encefalitis
.
Med Rev Mex
40
:
338
345
.
Wilkerson
RC,
Linton
YM,
Strickman
D.
2021
.
The mosquitoes of the world
.
2
vols.
Baltimore, MD
:
Johns Hopkins University Press
.
Woodward
DL,
Colwell
AE,
Anderson
NL.
1998
.
Surveillance studies of Orthopodomyia signifera with comparisons to Aedes sierrensis
.
J Vector Ecol
23
:
136
148
.
Zavortink
TJ.
1968
.
Mosquito studies (Diptera, Culicidae) VIII
.
A prodrome of the genus Orthopodomyia. Contrib Am Entomol Inst
3
:
1
221
.

Author notes

1

Departamento de Etología, Fauna Silvestre y Animales de Laboratorio, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, Mexico

2

International Joint Laboratory Ecosystem, bioLogical Diversity, habitat mOdifications and Risk of emerging pAthogens and Diseases in MexicO (ELDORADO), UNAM-IRD, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

3

MIVEGEC IRD, CNRS, Université Montpellier, Montpellier, France

4

Institut Pasteur de la Guyane, Vectopôle Amazonien Emile Abonnenc, Unité d’Entomologie Médicale, 23 Avenue Pasteur, 97300, Cayenne, French Guiana