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Mosquitoes have profoundly affected human history and continue to threaten human health through the transmission of a diverse array of pathogens. The phylogeny of mosquitoes has remained poorly characterized due to difficulty in taxonomic sampling and limited availability of genomic data beyond the most important vector species. Here, we used phylogenomic analysis of 709 single copy ortholog groups from 256 mosquito species to produce a strongly supported phylogeny that resolves the position of the major disease vector species and the major mosquito lineages. Our analyses support an origin of mosquitoes in the early Triassic (217 MYA [highest posterior density region: 188–250 MYA]), considerably older than previous estimates. Moreover, we utilize an extensive database of host associations for mosquitoes to show that mosquitoes have shifted to feeding upon the blood of mammals numerous times, and that mosquito diversification and host-use patterns within major lineages appear to coincide in earth history both with major continental drift events and with the diversification of vertebrate classes.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Nature Communications