15 Difference between Culex and Anopheles Mosquito (with Table)

Mosquitoes are types of insects that are found worldwide. Many species have been identified all over the world.

They have thin bodies, mouth-sucking parts, wings, six legs, and a pair of compound eyes. Their reproduction rate is very high.

Mosquitoes are classified into three genera which serve as vectors to various diseases. This includes; culex, Anopheles, and Aedes.

As mosquitoes suck blood from humans that is when they transfer the diseases to them as their mouthparts are adapted to sucking blood.

It is difficult to tell whether you have been bitten by a culex or anopheles mosquito. Many of us have had the challenge.

So, what is the difference between Culex and Anopheles mosquitoes? The main difference between culex and anopheles mosquitoes is that Culex mosquitoes serve as an intermediate host of West Nile virus and filarial nematodes while anopheles mosquito serves as the intermediate host of the malaria parasite.

This article is going to give clear differences between culex and Anopheles mosquitoes and you will also get to learn about their similarities.

Difference between Culex and Anopheles Mosquito

Comparison Table (Culex vs. Anopheles Mosquito)

Basic TermsCulex MosquitoAnopheles Mosquito
VectorIt transmits the West Nile virus and filarial nematodes.It transmits malaria parasites.
Number of diseases transmittedIt transmits various diseases.It only transmits malaria parasites.
HabitatLives in cooler environments.Lives in warmer environments.
Arrangement of eggsThey lay their eggs in clusters on the surface of the water.They lay their eggs singly in a horizontal pattern on the surface of the water.
Shape of eggsThey lay cigar-shaped eggs.They lay boat-shaped eggs.
Lateral air floatsThey do not have lateral air floats.They have lateral air floats.
Type of waterThey inhabit dirty water.They inhabit clean water.
LarvaIt is a bottom feeder.It is a surface feeder.
Resting positionIt lies its body parallel to the surface.It angles its body at 45 degrees from the surface.
PalpiHave small palpi near proboscis.They lack palpi.
WingsHave transparent wings capable of flying for long distances.They have dark-spotted wings incapable of flying for long distances.
Adult legsThey have stout legs.They have delicate legs.
Abdomen of pupaThe abdomen of the pupa is less bent.The abdomen of the pupa is more bent.
Color of pupaThey are colorlessThey are green in color.
Head of the larvaThe head is round.The head is broad.

What is Culex Mosquito?

Culex mosquito is a vector that transmits various diseases. It transmits filarial, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, avian malaria, and ST. Louise encephalitis.

They mostly bite birds than humans hence they are not dangerous to humans. They are either brown or gray in color.

Their body is stout and their wings are unspotted. The wings enable them to fly for long distances. During blood feeding, they lay parallel to the surface.

They stay in dirty water, hence to control them you need to drain away all dirty water around the homesteads.

What is Anopheles Mosquito?

It is a mosquito genus that causes malaria in human beings. It serves as a vector of malaria, canine heartworm diseases.

Their wings are spotted but they are delicate hence they cannot allow them to fly for longer distances. Their legs are also delicate.

They stay in clean water. They mark 45 degrees angle from the surface. They majorly fee on human blood hence they are dangerous to humans.

Main Differences between Culex and Anopheles Mosquitoes

  1. Culex mosquito is a vector of West Nile virus and filarial nematodes while the anopheles mosquito is a vector of the malaria parasite.
  2. Culex mosquito lives in cooler environments while anopheles mosquito lives in warmer environments.
  3. Culex mosquito lay they eggs in a cluster on the surface of the water while anopheles mosquito lay their eggs in a single in horizontal patterns on the surface of the water.
  4. Culex mosquito does not have lateral floats while Anopheles mosquito has lateral floats.
  5. Culex mosquito inhabits dirty water while anopheles mosquito inhabits clean water.
  6. Culex larva is a bottom feeder while anopheles lava is a surface feeder.
  7. Culex lies its body parallel to the surface when resting while anopheles raises its body at an angle of 45 degrees above the surface when resting.
  8. Culex mosquito has transparent wings which enable it to fly for long-distance while Anopheles mosquito has dark-spotted wings incapable of flying for long distances.
  9. Culex mosquito has small palpi near their proboscis while anopheles mosquito does not have palpi.
  10. Culex mosquito has stout legs while Anopheles mosquito has delicate legs.

Similarities between Culex and Anopheles Mosquitoes

  1. They both lay eggs on the surface of the water.
  2. They both undergo complete metamorphosis.
  3. They both take blood to supply them with proteins and iron that they need to develop their eggs.
  4. They are both active at dawn, dusk, and during the night.
  5. They both transmit diseases as they feed on the blood.
  6. Both are vectors of diseases.
  7. They both serve as intermediate hosts for vector-borne diseases.
  8. Both have thin bodies, six legs, a pair of wings, mouth-sucking parts, and compound eyes.


Culex and Anopheles mosquitoes belong to the same genera and both are vectors to various diseases. However, the Culex mosquito is different from the Anopheles mosquito in various ways.

Culex mosquito transmits various diseases while Anopheles mosquito transmits specifically malaria. The main difference between Culex and Anopheles mosquitoes is the type of disease they transmit.

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