Summary: The Mosquito Fauna of Germany in a changing World
Since the beginning of the 20th century the mosquitoes of Germany have been intensively studied due to their importance as nuisance and vector species. Mohrig (1969) gives an excellent summary of the state of art of the occurrence of mosquitoes and research on Culicidae until the 1960ies. In his classic work “Die Culiciden Deutschlands,” he describes 46 mosquito species for Germany.
With the establishment of the “German Mosquito Control Association (KABS )” in 1976 the research on culicids has been intensified again. The scientists of the University of Heidelberg and KABS could prove five new species of mosquitoes for Germany between 1995 and 2012 namely Uranotaenia unguiculata (1995), Aedes albopictus (2007), Ochlerotatus j. japonicus (2009), Culiseta longiareolata (2011) as well as Anopheles daciae (2012).
Uranotaenia unguiculata and Cs. longiareolata are two species that often occur, especially in the Mediterranean area due to their preference for warmer climates. Their occurrence in Germany might be favored by an increasing temperature.
However, due to their ornithophilic biting behaviour it cannot be excluded that they have been overlooked in the past. Aedes albopictus and Oc. j. japonicus have been introduced to new territories such as Germany in the context of globalization with trade goods, increased mobility of humans by means of vehicles. In particular, the spread of the originally tropical species Ae. albopictus is favored by global warming.
The rapid spread of Ae. albopictus and Oc. j. japonicus , and the related risk of transmission of human pathogens, especially of arboviruses, increased the awareness of scientists, health authorities and the public and led to an intensive surveillance program for exotic mosquito species in Germany.
A consortium of institutions receive funds from the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) to investigate the occurrence of exotic mosquitoes and to curb their further spread.