First record of the Asian bush mosquito, Aedes japonicus japonicus, in Italy: invasion from an established Austrian population
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Background: In 2011 we identified the Asian bush mosquito, Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald, 1901) (Diptera: Culicidae) for the first time in northern Slovenia and in the bordering Austrian federal state of Styria. Between May and July 2012 the distribution area of Ae. j. japonicus was already found to be extended westwards into Carinthia and eastwards towards Burgenland and bordering Hungary. In August 2012 the species was first detected in a western province of Hungary. In subsequent years, follow-up field studies demonstrated an active spread westwards throughout Carinthia, reaching the border to northern Italy. Findings: In July 2015 several aquatic-stage specimens of the species were discovered at three different sites in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, north-eastern Italy. In September 2015, co-occurrence of Ae. j. japonicus and Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1895) was observed in the same sample in that region. Conclusions: Ae. j. japonicus actively extended its geographic range from an established population in Carinthia (Austria) southwards to northern Italy by crossing Alpine ranges. Since Ae. albopictus and Aedes koreicus (Edwards, 1917) are already well established in northern Italy, it will be pivotal to monitor the consequences of a third invasive mosquito species trying to populate the same geographic region.