Most of the mosquito species of the world belong to this subfamily, which is subdivided into 11 tribes. The adults exhibit a high morphological variability ranging from species with little scaling to those with explicit patterns of scales of different colours, from white to black and even a metallic appearance, as well as from small to large species. Many species have prominent patterns of scales and setae on the scutum. The scutellum is trilobed with setae grouped on the lobes, except in Toxorhynchitini, which have an evenly rounded scutellum. In females the palps are short, and together with the trilobed scutellum make an elementary difference compared to members of the subfamily Anophelinae. The legs are often scaled in a characteristic pattern and the claws in some tribes have a subbasal tooth which can be species specific. The wings are often broader than those of Anophelinae and have the cross veins r-m and m-cu well expressed. They have usually three spermathecae (receptaculum seminis). The structure of the male hypopygium, especially the aedeagal apparatus is often more complex and in some tribes the gonocoxite may be enriched with well developed lobes. The head capsule of the larvae is more or less squared or rounded, and the antennae are of variable length. The larval thorax and abdomen are ornamented with long but less spiculate setae and lack, in European species, palmate setae. The elongated siphon with the plate-like, or in Mansoniini piercing, spiracular apparatus distinguishes the larvae of the Culicinae from those of the Anophelinae. The pupae have long trumpets, the opening of them being less wide than they are in Anophelinae. The chorionic pattern of the eggs varies with the mode of egg laying and can be used for genus, and in some cases, for species identification.