We present a draft sequence of the genome of Aedes aegypti, the primary vector for yellow fever and dengue fever, which at ~1.38 Gbp is ~5-fold larger in size than the genome of the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae. Nearly 50% of the Aedes aegypti genome consists of transposable elements. These contribute to a ~4-6 fold increase in average gene length and the size of intergenic regions relative to Anopheles gambiae and Drosophila melanogaster. Nevertheless, chromosomal synteny is generally maintained between all three insects although conservation of orthologous gene order is higher (~2-fold) between the mosquito species than between either of them and fruit fly. An increase in genes encoding odorant binding, cytochrome P450 and cuticle domains relative to Anopheles gambiae suggests that members of these protein families underpin some of the biological differences between them.