Monitoring of Exotic Mosquitoes in Belgium

Due to globalization (trade and tourism) and global warming, mosquito species are transported, spreading, getting introduced and eventually becoming established in new territories. Novel introductions and establishments of exotic mosquito species (EMS) in Belgium are expected to occur, based on interception data and suitability models developed for some invasive species in Europe. Moreover, the introduction of potential disease vector species constitutes a threat to human and animal health.

In this context, the Belgian federal authorities, and federated government agencies fund an active monitoring project which aims at detecting and evaluating the occurrence of EMS in Belgium (6 main expected EMS as shown hereunder). A country scale monitoring campaign has started, concentrating on places where EMS are the most likely to enter the country (i.e. points of entry). If EMS are identified and located in time, control measures are more likely to be effective, which in turn will reduce the chance of the species getting established. However, a reliable species identification irrespective of the life stage is a prerequisite for effective species monitoring. Within this framework, molecular validations of the morphological species identifications will be performed on a subsample of the material collected during the monitoring activities (native species), but also on all collected EMS. Therefore, the purpose of the present work was to investigate and evaluate available molecular identification techniques for each mosquito species (native and potentially invasive) recorded and encountered in Belgium (N=37).

Principal investigator:


2017 2020

External collaborators:

Sophie Gombeer, KBIN
Thierry Backeljau, KBIN
Wim Van Bortel, ITG
Isra Deblauwe, ITG