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Emergence of the invasive Asian bush mosquito Aedes(Hulecoeteomyia) japonicus (Theobald, 1901) in the Czech Republic


Aedes japonicus is a mosquito species native to North-East Asia that was first found established outside its original geographic distribution range in 1998 and has since spread massively through North America and Europe. In the Czech Republic, the species was not reported before 2021.


Aedes invasive mosquitoes (AIM) are routinely surveyed in the Czech Republic by ovitrapping at potential entry ports. This surveillance is supported by appeals to the population to report uncommon mosquitoes. The submission of an Ae. japonicus specimen by a citizen in 2021 was followed by local search for aquatic mosquito stages in the submitter’s garden and short-term adult monitoring with encephalitis virus surveillance (EVS) traps in its surroundings. Collected Ae. japonicus specimens were subjected to nad4 haplotype and microsatellite analyses.


Aedes japonicus was detected for the first time in the Czech Republic in 2021. Aquatic stages and adults were collected in Prachatice, close to the Czech-German border, and eggs in Mikulov, on the Czech-Austrian border. Morphological identification was confirmed by molecular taxonomy. Genetic analysis of specimens and comparison of genetic data with those of other European populations, particularly from Germany, showed the Prachatice specimens to be most closely related to a German population. The Mikulov specimens were more distantly related to those, with no close relatives identifiable.


Aedes japonicus is already widely distributed in Germany and Austria, two countries neighbouring the Czech Republic, and continues to spread rapidly in Central Europe. It must therefore be assumed that the species is already present at more than the two described localities in the Czech Republic and will further spread in this country. These findings highlight the need for more comprehensive AIM surveillance in the Czech Republic.



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