Impact of larvae of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus on larvae of the Culex pipiens complex from Germany in laboratory co‐breeding studies
Since the first detection of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) eggs in Germany in 2007, several populations of this species have established in Germany. Although colloquially Ae. albopictus is called an ‘invasive species’, it is not considered ‘invasive’ and therefore to be controlled according to the European Union (EU) Environmental and Nature Protection Act since evidence of displacement of native species is missing. To test the competitive potential of Ae. albopictus towards mosquito species native to Germany, laboratory experiments were conducted with larvae of this species and indigenous Cx. pipiens complex species/biotypes. First instar larvae of Ae. albopictus and of one of the native taxa were exposed to different temperatures and fed with different food sources. The ratio of individuals developing into adults as well as the time the larvae needed for development were taken as a measure of competitive outcome. In addition, the size of emerging adults was compared between control and experimental groups. Regarding developmental time, no significant differences were found between treatments and controls while significant differences were found regarding developmental rate and average wing size of individuals. Because no evidence of competitive repression of the native species was found, Ae. albopictus cannot be included in the EU list of invasive species.