Mosquitoes of the genus Haemagogus are mostly found in tropical Central and South America and are medically important as vectors of sylvatic yellow fever virus, Ilheus virus and several other arboviruses.
There are around 40 species in this mosquito genus. They inhabit tropical forests, open deciduous forests or mangroves. Species inhabiting primary tropical forests feed mostly in the forest canopy, but there are many species attacking humans in forest clearings or other open areas. Adults have clear diurnal activities with peak around midday and afternoon.
Haemagogus mosquitoes lay eggs in different kinds of cavities as tree holes, bamboos as well as in leaves of bromeliads or ground pools and also in artificial containers in urban areas. The hatching of the eggs occurs after some specific conditions are met. There has to be several days of semi-dry conditions with following submergence into the water. Eggs of these mosquitoes have been found to stay viable for up to 7 months if they were in conditions of partial desiccation.
One of the most widely distributed species is Haemagogus janthinomys. Several other species, as Haemagogus equinus, Hg. lucifer, Hg.leucocelaenus, Hg. spegazzinii,and Hg.capricornii are vectors of sylvatic yellow fever virus. Ilheus virus has been isolated from Hg. janthinomys and Hg. spegazzinii in Panama and from Hg. leucocelaenus in Brazil. In addition to yellow fever virus and certain other arboviruses, Mayaro virus has been isolated from naturally infected mosquitoes in an epidemic region in South Brazil.