Tuesday, March 7, 2023

[Entomology • 2023] Toxorhynchites domrey • A New Species of Elephant Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) from Nepenthes pitchers in Cambodia

Toxorhynchites (Toxorhynchitesdomrey Maquart & Rahola, 

in Maquart, Rahola, Chhuoy, Heng, Chhum, Suor & Boyer, 2023. 
• A new species of Toxorhynchytes mosquito is described.
• Collected in Veun Sai Siem Pang and Kirirom National parks.
• This new species inhabits Nepenthes smilesii pitchers.

Toxorhynchites are often nicknamed “elephant mosquitoes” due to their large size and bent proboscis. These colorful mosquitoes are generally covered with iridescent and metallic-colored scales and do not require blood feeding to perform their oogenesis since females acquire all the required proteins during their larval stages. Consequently, they are not involved in the transmission of pathogens, and are not considered to be of medical importance. This genus is comprised of 89 species worldwide, including three in Cambodia. During a survey conducted in Veun Sai Siem Pang National Park and in Kirirom National Park in 2021, several larvae of Toxorhynchites were collected inside pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes smilesii. Upon investigation, they were proven to belong to a new species, Toxorhynchites domrey sp. nov., described in the present article.

Keywords: Elephant mosquito, Biodiversity, Conservation, Pitcher plants, New species

Toxorhynchites (Toxorhynchitesdomrey Maquart & Rahola, sp. nov.

Etymology. Noun in apposition. The species name refers to the vernacular name of the genus “elephant mosquito” and is a tribute to the Khmer designation of elephants, referred as “Dom rey” (ដំរី in Khmer).

Distribution. Cambodia, known from Veun Sai - Siem Pang National Park (Rattanakiri Province) and from Kirirom forest (Kampong Speu Province).

 Pierre-Olivier Maquart, Nil Rahola, Kalyan Chhuoy, Kimly Heng, Moeun Chhum, Kimhuor Suor and Sébastien Boyer. 2023. Description of A New Species of Toxorhynchites (Diptera: Culicidae) from Nepenthes pitchers in Cambodia. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology. 26(2), 102064. DOI: 10.1016/j.aspen.2023.102064
LSID: https://zoobank.org/6D09A56F-A509-4FE6-BE4B-B