Geospatial analysis of invasion of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus: competition with Aedes japonicus japonicus in its northern limit area in Japan

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Naoko Nihei *
Osamu Komagata
Kan-ichiro Mochizuki
Mutsuo Kobayashi
(*) Corresponding Author:
Naoko Nihei | niheigeo@nih.go.jp

Abstract

The mosquito Aedes albopictus, indigenous to Southeast Asia and nearby islands, has spread almost worldwide during recent decades. We confirm the invasion of this mosquito, first reported in Yamagata city in northeast Honshu, Japan in 2000. Previously, only Ae. japonicus japonicus had been collected in this place, but 2 years later, the population of Ae. albopictus had increased, so more than 80% of the total number of larval colonies there consisted of this species. In contrast to Yamagata’s new residential area, now infested by Ae. albopictus, the original mosquito remains in the city but its habitats are generally closer to the surrounding mountains, where the normalized difference vegetation index is higher. The factors affecting the distribution of both species in Yamagata city were studied using geographical information systems (GIS) based on data derived from field surveys, aerial photographs, satellite images and digital maps. The range of Aedes mosquito habitats was estimated and visualised on polygon maps and no significant differences were noted when the polygon area was calculated by GIS software in comparison with the satellite images. Although Ae. j. japonicus was expected to be rapidly overrun by Ae. albopictus, this did not happen. Currently, both species coexist; not only in separate sites, but also simultaneously in various water bodies, where larvae from both species have frequently been seen. However, the competitive relationship between these two Aedes species within a warming environment is an issue that should be closely monitored.

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