Mosquito species composition and phenology (Diptera, Culicidae) in two German zoological gardens imply different risks of mosquito-borne pathogen transmission.
Due to their large diversity of potential blood hosts, breeding habitats, and resting sites, zoological gardens represent highly interesting places to study mosquito ecology. In order to better assess the risk of mosquito-borne disease-agent transmission in zoos, potential vector species must be known, as well as the communities in which they occur. For this reason, species composition and dynamics were examined in 2016 in two zoological gardens in Germany. Using different methods for mosquito sampling, a total of 2,257 specimens belonging to 20 taxa were collected. Species spectra depended on the collection method but generally differed between the two zoos, while species compositions and relative abundances varied seasonally in both of them. As both sampled zoos were located in the same climatic region and potential breeding sites within the zoos were similar, the differences in mosquito compositions are attributed to immigration of specimens from surrounding landscapes, although the different sizes of the zoos and the different blood host populations available probably also have an impact. Based on the differences in species composition and the various biological characteristics of the species, the risk of certain pathogens to be transmitted must also be expected to differ between the zoos.
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