One of the visible effects caused by the mixture of globalization and climate change is the spread of plants and animals often unwelcome. Among them unfortunately there are mosquitoes.
After the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the Korean mosquito (Aedes koreicus), reported for the first time in Italy in 2011, the Japanese mosquito (Aedes japonicus japonicus) was found in Italy in the summer of 2015.
The discovery of the “Japanese”
The Japanese mosquito was discovered last summer in the region of Carnia (Friuli Venezia Giulia, North East Italy) by an Austrian entomologist, Dr. Bernhard Seidel, during a monitoring project to evaluate its expansion from Austria to neighboring areas.
Some larvae were sent to the Laboratory of parasitology of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, which confirmed the identification of the insect with biomolecular methods.
The researchers then carried out a monitoring project in North-East Italy with the collaboration of Entostudio, during which they found several sites with the presence of larvae in a municipality of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region (Pontebba, Udine).
The Japanese mosquito is considered the third most invasive species between mosquitoes and is in the top 100 most invasive species in the world (ISSG, 2009).
The biology of the “Japanese” is similar to the other two species of Aedes quoted here: diurnal, harassing, it stings humans and lays eggs resistant to cold winter. It can transmit diseases such as the Dengue fever, the Chikungunya and perhaps could enter the epidemiological cycle of the West Nile Disease.
Exotic mosquitoes in North-East Italy
The arrival and settlement in the mountainous area as the Belluno region by the Korean mosquito was possible for its tolerance of low temperatures.
But the Japanese mosquito is even more tolerant to the cold, so today this mosquito is present in European countries with a harsher climate than Italy, like Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Hungary. With this background, we can assume a possible expansion of the Japanese mosquito in other areas of Northern Italy.
Once again North-East Italy experienced the arrival of an exotic invasive mosquito. This happens surely because it is an area in which there are intense commercial trades and movements of people, but also because there is a strong entomological surveillance that can signal the presence of a new species.
- H. Kampen e D.Werner (2014)
Out of the bush: the Asian bush mosquito Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald, 1901) (Diptera, Culicidae) becomes invasive
- M.G. Kaufman1 e D. M. Fonseca (2014)
Invasion Biology of Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae)
- J.M. Medlock e altri (2015)
An entomological review of invasive mosquitoes in Europe