Aedes albopictus

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Aedes albopictus feeding on a human host
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Aedes albopictus (Skuse) - (Asian tiger mosquito)

The mosquito is an aggressive, human-biting mosquito, closely associated with the human environment where it usually breeds in containers, water-storage tanks or other sources of stagnant water around houses. It is native to Asia and has spread to Africa, America and Europe. It is found since 1986 in North America. South America has been invaded around the same time and since 1987 it has been also reported from Europe. The first record from West Africa was 2000 in Cameroon and it has since spread to neighbouring countries. Since it can lay diapausing eggs it survives even in colder regions.

A study in New Jersey (U.S.A.) showed that in urban areas Ae. albopictus feeds exclusively on mammalian hosts with over 90% of their blood meals derived from humans and domesticated pets (Faraji et al., 2014). It is an efficient vector of dengue fever as well as chikungunya and Zika viruses. It also transmits yellow fever, various types of encephalitis, dog heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) and other diseases. Vector control is often the only or the most appropriate method to combat these diseases.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Asiatische Tigermücke
• English: Asian tiger mosquito
• Español: mosquito tigre
• Français: moustique-tigre

It bites during the day and protection by insecticide-treated bed nets is not applicable to this species. The adult is about 4 mm long, but can vary considerably in size. It can be distinguished from Aedes aegypti by a single, white dorsal stripe on the thorax. The development time from egg hatching to adult emergence is around 2-3 weeks, depending on the temperature.

Synonyms:
Stegomyia albopictus

For a review see Fader (2016).