Official ESA common name: Asian tiger mosquito
Etymology: not stated [painted white (L); refers to distinctive white & silvery white scales]
Aedes albopictus—the Asian Tiger mosquito—is one of the best known mosquitoes in the world, due to its distinctive black and white markings and its close association with humans. Originally described from Calcutta in India, Ae. albopictus is now present on all continents. It established in Hawaii at the end of the 19th century and in Guam in the 1940s, but its major bid for global domination truly started in 1979 with its introduction into Albania through the used tire trade. The species became abundant in the United States during the 1980s and in the 2000s, Ae. albopictus became established in much of Europe and the Middle East. The species has three synonyms—samarensis, nigritia and quasinigritia—all described by Ludlow and all described from the Philippines.
Type locality: Calcutta, [West Bengal], India
Type depository: U.S. National Museum, Washington, D.C., United States (USNM)
DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS (Click photos to view; mouse over and click large photo to zoom in.)
ADULT (illustrated): Head: Proboscis entirely dark-scaled; palpus with white scales at apex; pedicel with scales on lateral surfaces. Thorax: Scutum with median longitudinal stripe; antealar area with patch of broad pale scales; mesepimeron with lower scales; paratergite with scales; postpronotal scales present; postspiracular scales absent; proepisternal scales present; scutal angles without pale scales; subspiracular area with broad white scales. Legs: Silvery or white scale patches on legs; Ta-I–III1–5 with only basal bands. Abdomen: Tergal scales basal, often not connected with lateral pale scales; I-Te without median patch of white scales.
LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Seta 1-A very small, weakly developed; seta 4-C prominent, many branched; seta 5-C single, at same level as 7-C; setae 4-C and 6-C distinctly anterior to 7-C. Abdominal segments: Seta 4-V ≤0.5 x length of seta 3-V; seta 2-IV–VI usually with 1–2 branches; seta 13-III–V with unequal branches, with 1 branch distinctly longer than others. Terminal segments: Seta 2-VII usually with 1–2 branches; comb with comb scales in single row; seta 4-X with 4 pairs of setae on grid; seta 4a-X longer than 0.75 x 4b-X.
LaCasse & Yamaguti 1950
Lee et al. 1987a
Darsie & Pradhan 1990
Darsie & Ward 2005
Rattanarithikul et al. 2010
Becker et al. 2010
Harrison et al. 2016
WRBU – Aedes – Neotropical Region – Adult
WRBU – Aedes – Neotropical Region – Larva
WRBU – Aedes – Australasian Region - Adult
WRBU – Aedes – Australasian Region - Larva
WRBU – Aedes – Indomalayan Region - Adult
WRBU – Aedes – Indomalayan Region - Larva
WRBU – Aedes – Oriental Region – Adult
WRBU – Aedes – Oriental Region – Larva
WRBU – Aedes – Eastern Palearctic Region – Adult
WRBU – Aedes – Eastern Palearctic Region – Larva
WRBU – Aedes – Western Palearctic Region – Adult
WRBU – Aedes – Western Palearctic Region – Larva
WRBU – Aedes – Afrotropical Region – Adult
WRBU – Aedes – Afrotropical Region – Larva
Exemplar DNA sequences
Ae. albopictus COI: AB738121–22, KP843392–401, KP877563–75, KP896550–75, KR061437–56;
Ae. albopictus whole genome ID: 44.
In their native southeast Asia, Ae. albopictus oviposit in plant-based containers and containers with parts of plants in them, less frequently using artificial containers, sometimes in sympatry with Ae. aegypti (Linnaeus). Aedes albopictus occurs in natural containers in forest environs in the southeastern United States, but it is most abundant elsewhere as an urban mosquito, occupying artificial containers including cemetery vases, gutters, water collections in garden environments and water pools in discarded trash. Where Ae. albopictus immatures sympatric with Ae. aegypti or Ae. guamensis Farner & Bohart, Ae. albopictus regularly outcompetes them. Eggs aptly survive desiccation, enabling the inadvertent introduction of the species through global trade, primarily tires and plants. Aedes albopictus overwinter as eggs in northern habitats.
Due to its close association with human dwellings and its day-biting habits, Ae. albopictus can become an intense nuisance species in urban areas. Aedes albopictus take multiple bloodmeals per ovicycle, and although they appear highly anthropophilic, females feed opportunistically on many hosts, including mammals and birds. These biting habits enhance their ability to transmit zoonotic pathogens, and the species is a competent vector of many viruses and pathogens.
Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Borneo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands (Polynesia), Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, France (includes Corsica), French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, FYRO Macedonia, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece (includes Crete), Guam, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India (includes Andaman Islands), Indonesia (Flores, Java, Moluccas, Sumatra including Ketulauan Riouw Archipelago, Timor), Israel (and Gaza Strip & West Bank), Italy (including Giglo, Sardinia, Sicily, Ventotene, Ustica islands), Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Madagascar (includes Glorioso & Juan De Nova Is), Madeira, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marianas Islands, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Wake Island), Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, People’s Republic of China (includes Hong Kong), Philippines, Polynesian Islands; Howland; Jarvis; Johnston Atol; Pitcairn; Wallis & Futuna, Puerto Rico, Republic of Congo, Republic of South Africa, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Samoa (Ind. State of Samoa; American Samoa; Western Samoa), San Marino, São Tomé & Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain (includes Balearic Islands: Ibiza, Minorca), Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, United States (continental, Hawaiʻi), Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam.
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IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)
Skuse 1895 (1894): 20 (F*; Culex)
Banks 1908 (E*, L*)
Barraud 1923h (L*)
Barraud 1934: 233 (M*, F*, L*)
Edwards 1941: 153 (A), 391 (P*)
Bohart & Ingram 1946b (M*, F*, L*)
LaCasse & Yamaguti 1950: 111 (M*, F*, P*, L*; keys, bionomics)
Knight & Hull 1952: 176 (M*, F, L)
Mattingly 1953a: 17 (taxonomy), 49 (distribution)
Horsfall 1955: 506 (review)
Iyengar & Menon 1955 (distribution)
Hara 1957: 65 (F*)
Bullock 1960 (E*)
Joshi et al. 1965 (distribution; Nepal)
Mohrig 1967 (F*)
Huang 1968c: 297 (M*, F*, P*; neotype designation)
Pratt & Kidwell 1969 (E*)
Aslamkhan 1971b (distribution; Pakistan)
Mattingly 1971a: Pl. 15 (P abdomen*)
Lambrecht & van Someren 1971: 483 (distribution)
Basio 1971b: 27 (M*; bionomics)
Huang 1971 (F*)
Huang 1972c: 13 (M*, F*, P*, L*; distribution)
Matsuo et al. 1972 (E*)
Colless 1973: 226 (distribution)
Moriya et al. 1973 (E*)
Matsuo et al. 1974: 180 (E*)
Baisas 1974: 33 (M, F*, P*, L*; taxonomy, bionomics, distribution; Philippines)
Tanaka et al. 1975c: Tanaka et al. 1975c: 223 (bionomics, distribution)
Huang 1979a (F*; keys, distribution)
Tanaka et al. 1979: 380 (M*, F*, L*)
Lu 1985 (taxonomy; sensu lato)
Ahmed 1987 (distribution; Bangladesh)
Lee et al. 1987a: 75 (F key, taxonomy, bioomics., distribution, review)
Linley 1989b (E*)
Darsie & Pradhan 1990 (F, L; taxonomy, keys, bionomics, distribution; Nepal)
Pozza & Mojori 1992: 318 (distribution; Italy)
Suleman et al. 1993 (distribution; Pakistan)
Ibáñez-Bernal & Martínez-Campos 1994: 231 (distribution; Mexico)
Knudsen 1995 37: 93 (distribution)
Ogata & Samayoa 1996: 503 (distribution; Guatemala)
Jupp 1996 (M*, F*; key)
Adhami & Reiter 1998: 340 (distribution; Albania)
Darsie 1999: 614 (distribution)
Albuquerque et al. 2000 (distribution; Brazil)
Delaunay et al. 2000: 17 (distribution; France)
Tanaka 2000b: 232 (P*; taxonomy, key)
Whelan & Hapgood 2000: (bionomics; distribution; East Timor)
Chadee et al. 2003: 438 (distribution; Trinidad)
Pena et al. 2003 (distribution; Dominican Republic)
Rossi & Martínez 2003: 471 (distribution; Uruguay)
Toto et al. 2003: 343 (distribution; Equatorial Guinea)
Girod 2004: 74 (distribution; Comoros, Reunion)
Huang 2004: 14 (M*, F*; taxonomy, keys, distribution)
Darsie & Ward 2005 (F*, L*; keys, distribution)
Rattanarithikul et al. 2010 (F*, L*; keys, bionomics, distribution; Thailand)
Becker et al. 2010: 201 (M*, F*, L*; keys, taxonomy, distribution, bionomics)
Ngoagouni et al. 2015 (distribution; Africa)
Kutateladze et al. 2016 (distribution; Republic of Georgia)
Harrison et al. 2016 (F*, L*; keys, distribution, taxonomy)
Ponce et al. 2018 (distribution, Ecuador)
Giordano 2019 (distribution; Canada)
Robert et al. 2019 (distribution, Euro-Mediterranean)
Lutz, et al. 2020 (bionomics)
Westby et al. 2021 (bionomics)
syn. samarensis Ludlow
1903: 138 (A; Stegomyia scutellaris ssp.). Type locality: Samar, Philippines (USNM). References: Stone & Knight 1956a: 225 (type information, lectotype designation).
syn. nigritia Ludlow
1910: 194 (F; Stegomyia). Type locality: Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines (USNM). References: Stone & Knight 1956a: 222 (type information, lectotype designation).
syn. quasinigritia Ludlow
1911b: 129 (M; Stegomyia). Type locality: Turucan, Mindanao, Philippines (USNM).
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Ahmed, T.U. (1987). Checklist of the mosquitoes of Bangladesh. Mosquito Systematics, 19(3), 187–200.
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Aslamkhan, M. (1971b). The mosquitoes of Pakistan I. A checklist. Mosquito Systematics, 3(4), 147–159.
Baisas, F. E. (1974). The mosquito fauna of Subic Bay Naval Reservation, Republic of the Philippines. San Francisco: Headquarters, First Medical Service Wing (PACAF), San Francisco.
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Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit (Year). Aedes albopictus species page. Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit Website, http://wrbu.si.edu/vectorspecies/mosquitoes/albopictus, accessed on [date (e.g. 03 February 2020) when you last viewed the site].