Invasive Mosquitoes

Culex quinquefasciatus larvae

 

Culex quinquefasciatus

Culex quinquefasciatus spreads avian malaria, which causes illness and death in the native forest birds of Hawaiʻi. Also known as the southern house mosquito, C. quinquefasciatus originates in tropical and subtropical regions outside of Hawaiʻi. This mosquito feeds at night on both humans and animals and can transmit deadly human diseases such West Nile Virus, Western encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis. 

Culex quinquefasciatus was introduced to Hawaiʻi in 1826, and the species is currently found from sea level to approximately 6000 feet in elevation statewide. As the climate in Hawaiʻi continues to warm, this mosquito is expanding its range and encroaching on habitats where remaining populations of native forest birds persist.

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Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito © James Gathany 

Aedes albopictus

Aedes albopictus may spread avian pox, another serious disease which adversely impacts the survival of native forest birds in Hawaiʻi. The Asian tiger mosquito is native to southeast Asia. This mosquito feeds during the day on both humans and animals and is capable of transmitting human diseases including yellow fever, dengue fever, Chikungunya, and the Zika virus.

 

Aedes albopictus was introduced to Hawaiʻi in 1896. The species is present from sea level to approximately 4000 feet in elevation. Aedes albopictus is abundant in natural areas and uses human infrastructure for breeding. Like C. quinquefasciatus, increasing temperatures will enable the spread of this species to upper elevations in Hawaiʻi, further intensifying impacts on our native birds.