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Article

Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Dark—Highlighting the Importance of Genetically Identifying Mosquito Populations in Subterranean Environments of Central Europe

1
Unit Limnology, Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2
WasserCluster Lunz—Biologische Station, 3293 Lunz am See, Austria
3
Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Gregor-Mendel-Strasse 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria
4
Zoology Department, Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle de Luxembourg (MNHNL), 2160 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
5
Francis Schaffner Consultancy, 4125 Riehen, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vito Colella
Pathogens 2021, 10(9), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091090
Received: 16 June 2021 / Revised: 23 August 2021 / Accepted: 24 August 2021 / Published: 26 August 2021
The common house mosquito, Culex pipiens s. l. is part of the morphologically hardly or non-distinguishable Culex pipiens complex. Upcoming molecular methods allowed us to identify members of mosquito populations that are characterized by differences in behavior, physiology, host and habitat preferences and thereof resulting in varying pathogen load and vector potential to deal with. In the last years, urban and surrounding periurban areas were of special interest due to the higher transmission risk of pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. Recently, surveys of underground habitats were performed to fully evaluate the spatial distribution of rare members of the Cx. pipiens complex in Europe. Subterranean environments and their contribution to mosquito-borne pathogen transmission are virtually unknown. Herein, we review the underground community structures of this species complex in Europe, add new data to Germany and provide the first reports of the Cx. pipiens complex and usually rarely found mosquito taxa in underground areas of Luxembourg. Furthermore, we report the first finding of Culiseta glaphyroptera in Luxembourg. Our results highlight the need for molecular specimen identifications to correctly and most comprehensively characterize subterranean mosquito community structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: Culex pipiens s. l.; Culex torrentium; Culiseta glaphyroptera; caves; subterranean environment; Luxembourg; Germany Culex pipiens s. l.; Culex torrentium; Culiseta glaphyroptera; caves; subterranean environment; Luxembourg; Germany
  • Supplementary File 1:

    ZIP-Document (ZIP, 599 KiB)

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4966128
    Link: https://zenodo.org/record/4966128
    Description: Table S1; Mosquitoes sampled in subterranean sites in Luxembourg (T=transition zone, D=dark zone, E=entrance)
  • Externally hosted supplementary file 2
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4966128
    Link: https://zenodo.org/record/4966128
    Description: Table S2; Mosquitoes sampled in subterranean sites in Germany (T=transition zone, D=dark zone)
MDPI and ACS Style

Zittra, C.; Vitecek, S.; Teixeira, J.; Weber, D.; Schindelegger, B.; Schaffner, F.; Weigand, A.M. Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Dark—Highlighting the Importance of Genetically Identifying Mosquito Populations in Subterranean Environments of Central Europe. Pathogens 2021, 10, 1090. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091090

AMA Style

Zittra C, Vitecek S, Teixeira J, Weber D, Schindelegger B, Schaffner F, Weigand AM. Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Dark—Highlighting the Importance of Genetically Identifying Mosquito Populations in Subterranean Environments of Central Europe. Pathogens. 2021; 10(9):1090. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091090

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zittra, Carina, Simon Vitecek, Joana Teixeira, Dieter Weber, Bernadette Schindelegger, Francis Schaffner, and Alexander M. Weigand. 2021. "Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Dark—Highlighting the Importance of Genetically Identifying Mosquito Populations in Subterranean Environments of Central Europe" Pathogens 10, no. 9: 1090. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091090

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