Asian bush mosquito now also in northern Germany

Stechm cke imported from Asia has continued to spread in Germany

Asian bush mosquito © CDC
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After being spotted in West Germany last year, the mosquito Aedes japonicus is now making itself comfortable in Lower Saxony. The migrating from warmer climes bush mosquitoes are not only annoying - they can also transmit tropical diseases. On the track came German researchers of the Asian bush mosquito by citizen participation in the project "Mosquito Atlas".

There are around 3, 500 species of mosquitoes worldwide, 50 of which have been detected in Germany so far. Since they have been scientifically neglected for a long time, basic knowledge about their occurrence and their regional distribution is lacking. Globalization and climate change also favor the introduction and settlement of non-native mosquitoes, some of which can even transmit pathogens: infections with the usually spread in the tropics dengue virus and the chikungunya virus occurred in recent years for the first time in southern Europe. They were transferred by the resettled Asian tiger mosquito there.

But the tiger mosquito is no longer the only newcomer in our climes: The Asian bush mosquito (Aedes japonicus) is starting to spread out here. Originally from Japan, Korea and China, this species of mosquito is known as the carrier of the West Nile virus and various pathogens of meningitis. It is also considered relatively "stingy". Several years ago specimens of this mosquito were found in the Upper Rhine region, later also in North Rhine-Westphalia. Investigations at that time showed that the bush mosquito can successfully assert itself against native species: where it emerged, the number of native mosquitoes Culex pipiens decreased significantly, as researchers reported.

Now also in Lower Saxony

New evaluations as part of the project "Mosquito Atlas" of the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) in Müncheberg and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) on the island of Riems now show that the Asian bush mosquito has spread as far as Lower Saxony: At the end of 2012, the researchers had for the first time included a female of the Asian bush mosquito in a submission from a place near Hanover. With the onset of the mosquitoes in the spring of 2013, the team led by the biologists Doreen Werner and Helge Kampen then systematically examined the water wells of cemeteries in numerous towns in Lower Saxony and East Westphalia. The result: The researchers found 25 out of 129 cemeteries inspected in both regions.

The widespread presence of larvae and pupae of Aedes japonicus this spring proves beyond any doubt, according to the scientists, that this mosquito species has now established itself in northern Germany. Whether the mosquito has migrated from western North Rhine-Westphalia or whether it is a Neueinschleppung, is currently checked by genetic kinship analysis. display

Researchers continue to ask citizens for help

In order to be able to grasp the distribution of these and other species in Germany more precisely, the research team is still asking for the return of mosquitoes. The mosquitoes should be captured as undamaged as possible, deep-frozen and then sent to the ZALF. All information about the Mückenatlas, how to become M ckenj ger and interesting facts about mosquitoes can be found at

www.mueckenatlas.de

(Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research, 29.07.2013 - SEN)