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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018 / The state of the art of the exotic mosquito species in Belgium: new invasion pathways detected.

K. De Wolf, N. Smitz, I. Deblauwe, A. Vanslembrouck, K. Meganck, S. Gombeer, Y.R. Van Bourgonie, I. Verlé, A. Schneider, J. De Witte, W. Dekoninck, T. Backeljau, M. De Meyer and W. Van Bortel (2018)

The state of the art of the exotic mosquito species in Belgium: new invasion pathways detected.

In: E-SOVE 2018, the 21st European Society for Vector Ecology conference, “Arthropod Vector Science for the benefit of society: Educate, Empathize, Engage”, 22-26 October 2018, Palermo, Italy, pp. 167, European Society for Vector Ecology.

In July 2017, a three year monitoring project (MEMO) aiming at detecting and evaluating the occurrence and invasion phase of exotic mosquitoes (EMS) in Belgium started. Adult traps and ovitraps were placed and larval sampling was conducted at 23 locations. These locations were selected based on their high potential of introducing EMS. DNA-based techniques are used to verify the morphological identification of 5% of the collected mosquito specimens. In 2017, 2622 adult mosquitoes, 2916 larvae and 650 eggs were collected. In total 15 species (or complexes) belonging to 5 genera (Aedes, Anopheles, Culex, Culiseta and Coquillettidia) were identified. Morphological and DNAbased identifications were in agreement. Furthermore, DNA sequence data confirmed that adults of the Anopheles maculipennis complex were Anopheles messeae and that both Culex pipiens biotype pipiens and biotype molestus were collected. Culiseta longiareolata was for the first time observed in Belgium. EMS made up 2% of all collected specimens. Three EMS, Aedes japonicus, Aedes koreicus and Anopheles pharoensis were intercepted in 2017. In the first six months of 2018, Aedes albopictus was intercepted at four locations. Previous monitoring projects indicated that Aedes mosquitoes entered Belgium via import of lucky bamboo plants and of tyres. New for Belgium is the interception of Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus along the border with France and Germany, respectively. And the interception of Anopheles pharoenis in a cargo airport. In the first case, a possible natural spread from these countries may have occurred. In this perspective, the understanding of the invasion process of the three exotic Aedes species, based on field observations and population genetics, will provide information on their invasion phase (introduction, establishment or spread) and seasonality which will be essential to guide surveillance and control.
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