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Guidance Document

‘Reverse’ identification key for mosquito species


During the latter part of the 20th century, the role of mosquitoes as vectors of diseases of public health concern was generally considered limited to the tropics. However, in the early 21st century, an increasingly connected world through travel, trade, and tourism means that Europe is seeing regular transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, a trend confirmed by advances in pathogen detection.

In this context, more and more people are getting involved in the surveillance of invasive mosquito species to increase adaptation measures to these risks at the national/regional/local scale. There are many taxonomic keys available for identifying mosquitoes of medical and veterinary importance, but they are almost all designed for professionally trained entomologists.

The current identification key aims to provide non-specialists with a simple mosquito recog- nition tool for distinguishing between invasive mosquito species and native ones. On the ‘female’ illustration page (p. 4) you can select the species that best resembles the specimen. On the species-specific pages you will find additional information on those species that can easily be confused with that selected, so you can check these additional pages as well.

This key provides the non-specialist with reference material to help recognise an invasive mosquito species and gives details on the morphology (in the species-specific pages) to help with verification and the compiling of a final list of candidates. The key displays six invasive mosquito species that are present in the EU/EEA or have been intercepted in the past. It also contains nine native species. The native species have been selected based on their morpho- logical similarity with the invasive species, the likelihood of encountering them, whether they bite humans and how common they are.

Reference information

Published in Climate-ADAPT Oct 12 2021   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Dec 06 2022

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