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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018 / Belgium on the lookout for exotic mosquito species (Diptera: Culicidae).

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

Belgium on the lookout for exotic mosquito species (Diptera: Culicidae).

In: Abstracts volume. 9th International Congress of Dipterology, 25–30 November 2018, Windhoek, Namibia., ed. by Kirk-Spriggs, A.H. & Muller, B.S., pp. 65, International Congresses of Dipterology.

Based on the current spread of exotic mosquito species (EMS) in Europe, the number of interceptions in Belgium and suitability models developed for Aedes albopictus (Skuse) in Europe, EMS are likely to establish and spread in Belgium. A prerequisite for their control is their early detection. Therefore, the Belgian federal authorities and the federated entities funded a 3-year active monitoring project (MEMO) (July 2017–June 2020). The aims are early detection of EMS in Belgium, quantifying locally established EMS populations, evaluating the EMS import risk at possible points of entry (PoE), expand reference collections and make recommendations for a future, long-term, cost-effective EMS monitoring plan in Belgium. Monitoring activities are implemented at 23 PoE using adult trapping with CO2 and lure traps, egg sampling with oviposition traps and larval sampling with dipping nets. DNA barcoding is used to validate morphological identifications and to expand the DNA reference database. Specimens are also added to the morphological reference collection at Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Since July 2017, four EMS were intercepted. The colonised area of Ae. koreicus (Edwards) in Belgium increased from 7 to 113 km2. Aedes japonicus (Theobald) was detected again in southern Belgium, from where it was thought to be eliminated. This species has now also been collected on the border with Germany. Anopheles pharoensis (Theobald) entered Belgium via cargo transport. Aedes albopictus was intercepted at four PoE. To conclude, EMS are effectively entering and spreading in Belgium and appropriate control management strategies on the national level are urgently required.
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