Asian Tiger Mosquito: Essential Facts and Tips

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The Asian Tiger Mosquito, scientifically known as Aedes albopictus, is an invasive species originating from Asia. These mosquitoes have black bodies with noticeable white stripes, making them easily identifiable.

Primarily found in southern Ohio, Asian Tiger Mosquitoes can be a nuisance and a potential public health risk. They are efficient vectors for various mosquito-borne diseases, affecting humans and domestic animals like horses and dogs. These mosquitoes have a four-stage life cycle, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages, and prefer laying their eggs in standing water.

An interesting fact about Asian Tiger Mosquitoes is that they have been introduced to North America in 1985 through imported used tires. Since then, they have spread to multiple areas, including Maryland, where they have become a major pest and threat to public health.

Overview of Asian Tiger Mosquito

Origins and Distribution

The Asian Tiger Mosquito, scientifically known as Aedes albopictus, is native to Southeast Asia. Over time, it has spread to various parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, and North and South America, primarily through the international trade of used tires and lucky bamboo plants.

Identification and Physical Features

The Asian Tiger Mosquito is identifiable by its distinctive color and shape. Some key features include:

  • Size: typically around 2-10 mm in length
  • Color: black with white stripes on body and legs
  • Antennae: adorned with white bands
  • Proboscis: long and black, with a white band

Here’s a comparison of the Asian Tiger Mosquito with a common mosquito (Culex species):

Feature Asian Tiger Mosquito Common Mosquito
Size 2-10 mm 3-7 mm
Color Black with white stripes Brown or gray
Stripes on legs Yes No
White bands On antennae and proboscis Absent

In summary, the Asian Tiger Mosquito is a small mosquito with a characteristic appearance that includes white stripes and bands on its body parts. Its wide distribution makes it a relevant topic to learn about for better understanding and prevention measures.

Life Cycle and Breeding Habits

Eggs and Overwintering

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes lay their eggs near standing water. Examples include:

  • Birdbaths
  • Puddles
  • Used tires

Eggs can survive dry conditions and hatch when exposed to water. They also overwinter and hatch during warmer months.

Larvae and Pupae

The larvae, or “wriggler,” live in water. Key features:

  • Most species surface to breathe air
  • Mutate several times

The pupae, or “tumbler,” are non-feeding stages that transition into adults.

Adult Mosquitoes

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes have black bodies with white stripes. A single white stripe runs the length of their back. They can transmit diseases like:

  • Dog heartworm
  • Encephalitis
  • Dengue fever
  • West Nile virus

They are prevalent across southern states and are typically daytime biters.

Pros and Cons of Breeding Sites

Used Tires

  • Pro: Provide egg-laying site
  • Con: Promote mosquito’s spread

Birdbaths and Puddles

  • Pro: Support local wildlife
  • Con: Potential mosquito breeding sites

Diseases and Health Risks

Viral Diseases Transmitted

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes transmit several viral diseases, including:

  • West Nile Virus (WNV)
  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue
  • Zika
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • Yellow Fever
Disease Virus Associated
West Nile Virus WNV
Chikungunya Chikungunya virus
Dengue Dengue virus
Zika Zika virus
Eastern Equine Encephalitis EEE virus
St. Louis Encephalitis SLEV
Yellow Fever Yellow fever virus

Symptoms and Treatment

West Nile Virus (WNV): Symptoms can range from mild, displaying fever, headache, and body aches, to severe, like encephalitis and meningitis. Mild cases usually resolve on their own. Serious cases require hospitalization.

Chikungunya: Symptoms include fever, joint and muscle pain, rash, and headache. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms through rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medication.

Dengue: Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, and rash. Treatment involves fluid replacement therapy, pain control, and hospitalization if necessary.

Zika: Symptoms are mild, including fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Treatment involves rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medications.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE): Symptoms are sudden and severe, with high fever, headache, stiff neck, and seizures. Treatment is limited to hospital care and supportive measures.

St. Louis Encephalitis: Symptoms include fever, headache, and fatigue. Severe cases can lead to encephalitis. Treatment is limited to supportive measures.

Yellow Fever: Symptoms begin with fever, chills, headache, and muscle pain. In severe cases, jaundice and organ failure can occur. There is no specific antiviral treatment, but supportive care, hydration, and monitoring are essential.

Remember, prevention is key! Avoid mosquito bites by using repellents, wearing protective clothing, and eliminating stagnant water sources.

Bug Control Recommendation Tool

What type of pest are you dealing with?

How severe is the infestation?

Do you require child/pet/garden safe treatments (organic)?

Are you willing to monitor and maintain the treatment yourself?


Prevention and Control Methods

Personal Protection

  • Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
  • The CDC recommends using products registered with the EPA.
  • Follow label instructions and reapply as directed.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants treated with permethrin.
  • Avoid exposure during peak mosquito hours (dawn and dusk).

Example:

Comparison table:

Insect Repellent Active Ingredient Pros Cons
DEET N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide +++ Child safety concerns
Picaridin Icaridin +++ Some skin reactions reported
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus para-Menthane-3, 8-diol ++ Avoid use on children under 3 years

Environmental Management

  • Remove standing water to eliminate breeding grounds.
  • Clean and maintain pools, ponds, and water features regularly.
  • Check for areas of stagnant water around the home.
  • Use mosquito larvicides in standing water that cannot be removed.
  • Install screens on windows and doors to minimize indoor contact.

Examples:

  • Mosquito larvae can be found in water-filled containers, such as flower pots, bird baths, or unused tires.
  • Mosquito Dunks are a larvicide that can be applied to standing water to kill larvae.

Public Health Measures

  • Mosquito control programs initiated by local governments.
  • Monitoring and research on mosquito populations and disease vectors by institutions like the University of Florida and the CDC.
  • Release of modified mosquitoes, such as Wolbachia-infected Aedes albopictus.
  • Encourage city-wide community participation in mosquito control efforts.

Geographical Spread and Climate Change

Expansion in the United States

The Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) originated in Southeast Asia and has since spread to other regions, including the United States. It entered the US in 1985 through the importation of used tires, which provided a site for egg laying and larval development1. The species can now be found in southern Ohio and has the potential to spread to other areas within the state2. In addition, the mosquito has spread to over 900 counties in 26 states3, including California4, Maryland, and other states in the southeastern US.

  • Native to: Southeast Asia
  • Entered US: 1985
  • States with established populations: 26

Global Impact

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes are now considered one of the most invasive mosquito species worldwide5. They have spread to tropical and subtropical regions6 in Europe and Africa, with climate change potentially exacerbating this situation. A recent study revealed that the at-risk population for malaria and dengue could increase by 4 billion to 7 billion people by 2070 due to climate change7. It is important to note, however, that temperature is not the only driver of change; human activities and other environmental factors also contribute to the spread of this species8.

  Asian Tiger Mosquito Aedes aegypti
Native region(s) Southeast Asia South Asia, Southeast Asia, West Africa
Spread to USA 1985 Before 1985
Active time Dusk During the day

Research and Emerging Infectious Diseases

The Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is a species of concern for public health. Researchers have found that it could transmit various pathogens, affecting both humans and dogs. Some of these diseases include dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika.

These mosquitoes are invasive and can adapt to various climates. This adaptability poses a risk for the spread of emerging infectious diseases globally. The mosquitoes are known for their aggressive daytime human-biting behavior, which makes their impact on public health even more significant.

Asian Tiger Mosquito can be identified by their distinct black and white striped appearance. They prefer breeding in small water containers, such as plant saucers or discarded tires.

Here are some characteristics of the Asian Tiger Mosquito:

  • Aggressive daytime biter
  • Black and white striped appearance
  • Adapts to various climates

Prevention measures are crucial for reducing the risk of these mosquitoes spreading diseases. Some examples include:

  • Removing standing water sources
  • Installing window and door screens
  • Using insect repellent

Monitoring and control efforts, including research on insecticides and biological control, help mitigate the risks associated with the Asian Tiger Mosquito. Public awareness and education play a key role in controlling their population and preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

Comparison between Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito):

Feature Aedes aegypti Aedes albopictus
Biting time Daytime Daytime
Primary diseases Dengue, Yellow Fever Dengue, Chikungunya, Yellow fever, Zika
Appearance Brown with white markings Black and white striped
Climate adaptability Tropical Wide range (including temperate)

By understanding the Asian Tiger Mosquito’s behavior, appearance, and risks, we can take practical steps to prevent their population growth and protect ourselves from the emerging infectious diseases they may carry.

Footnotes

  1. Asian Tiger Mosquito | Digital Fact Sheets – U.OSU
  2. Asian Tiger Mosquito | Digital Fact Sheets – U.OSU
  3. Asian Tiger Mosquito | Center for Invasive Species Research
  4. Asian Tiger Mosquito | Center for Invasive Species Research
  5. Spread of the tiger: global risk of invasion by the mosquito Aedes …
  6. Practical management plan for invasive mosquito species in … – PubMed
  7. Researchers Discuss Impact of Climate Change on Mosquito-Borne Diseases …
  8. Researchers Discuss Impact of Climate Change on Mosquito-Borne Diseases …

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

Really neat looking Mosquito – White Striped!
September 26, 2009
You know you are a bug lover when you think a mosquito has beautiful stripes. I know they carry disease, but I had to take one for the team when I saw this guy biting my hand, and decided to take a picture of him.
Once Bitten Twice Shy
Austin, Texas

Asian Tiger Mosquito
Asian Tiger Mosquito

Dear Once Bitten Twice Shy,
Thanks so much for sending us an image of an Asian Tiger Mosquito, Aedes albopictus, an invasive species that was introduced to North America in the 1980s from Asia.  According to BugGuide:  “The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive and aggressive species that was introduced to the United States during the mid-1980s. It was first collected in Texas in 1985, apparently having traveled from Asia in a shipment of used tires. These mosquitoes are vicious biters and have been known to transmit disease.

Letter 2 – Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

What is this bug?
Location: Manassas VA
November 2, 2011 8:55 pm
I need your help. What is this cool bug?
Signature: Tom K

Male Asian Tiger Mosquito

Hi Tom,
Your insect is the introduced Asian Tiger Mosquito.  According to BugGuide:  “The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive and aggressive species that was introduced to the United States during the mid-1980s. It was first collected in Texas in 1985, apparently having traveled from Asia in a shipment of used tires. These mosquitoes are vicious biters and have been known to transmit disease.”  Unlike most Mosquitoes, the Asian Tiger Mosquito is a diurnal species that will bite during daylight hours.  According to
BugGuide:  “Adult females feed on the blood of birds, humans, and domestic & wild mammals.”  The antennae indicate that your individual is a non-biting male.

Letter 3 – Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

Subject: Insect Identification Request
Location: East side suburb of Cleveland, Ohio
August 6, 2013 5:14 pm
Need help identifying this insect. Appears to fly but possible that it just jumps far distances. Didn’t appear to be a spider…not sure. Daylight, outside, driveway of house, today, 8-6-13. Jumped or flew from arm to nearby ivy. Photos are of insect and ivy. Bit four times on forearm. Bites look similar to mosquito. Itchy. I have a short video if you’d like it. The front ’pinchers?’ would move open and closed, and open and closed.
Signature: Deb from Ohio

Asian Tiger Mosquito
Asian Tiger Mosquito

Hi Deb,
We might have been in Cleveland when you sent this request several weeks ago.  We were out of the office and not responding to any mail for 2 1/2 weeks because of a family emergency.  This is an Asian Tiger Mosquito,
Aedes albopictus, an invasive introduced species.  According to BugGuide:  “The ATM differs from most other mosquitos in that it’s diurnal (active during the day).  Eggs are laid singly above the water surface on the sides of water-holding containers such as tires, animal watering dishes, birdbaths, flowerpots and natural holes in vegetation. Multiple generations per year; overwinters in the egg stage in temperate climates” and “The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive and aggressive species that was introduced to the United States during the mid-1980s. It was first collected in Texas in 1985, apparently having traveled from Asia in a shipment of used tires. These mosquitoes are vicious biters and have been known to transmit disease.”

Letter 4 – Asian Tiger Mosquito from the Philippines

 

Subject: Is this a dengue mosquito?
Location: Ranger street, Matina, Davao, Philippines
November 10, 2016 10:46 pm
Hi bugman,
I was just stung my a mosquito and when it was bellying out on the wall, I noticed it had some white markings on its legs. I know Dengue mosquitos have this too, and I am currently also coming down with flu (slight headaches, sore throat, but no bleeding or rashes or anything). I’m living in the outskirts of Davao City in the Philippines and dengue is known to be present in this region (Mindanao).
I managed to take a few pictures of the mosquito. They’re not 100% sharp, but hopefully it will give you some clue.
I did kill the mosquito by the way. Sorry for that, I know you’re not a fan of that. Neither am I, but in the case of mosquitos (in relation to dengue) I’m not taking any chances.
Thanks in advance for your time. Hope you can identify it!
Greets,
Signature: Hugo Peek

Asian Tiger Mosquito
Asian Tiger Mosquito

Dear Hugo,
In no way would we ever tag accuse a person of Unnecessary Carnage for swatting a Mosquito.  Based on this BugGuide image, we believe this is an Asian Tiger Mosquito,
Aedes albopictus, and according to BugGuide:  “The Asian Tiger Mosquito is so named because of its conspicuous stripes, ferocious feeding behavior and its Asian origin.”  BugGuide provides the following medical importance information:  “Aedes albopictus is most well known for transmitting dengue and chikungunya viruses but it has also been found infected in nature with the following viruses: West Nile, Eastern equine encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis. It can also transmit dog heartworm parasites. (CDC) Ae. albopictus is a competent laboratory vector of at least 22 arboviruses.  Ae. albopictus may have played a major role in ZIKV transmission in Gabon in 2007. (13) Armstrong et al. (2013) tested > 34,000 Ae. albopictus from New Jersey over a 3-yr period to evaluate its importance as a regional arbovirus vector.”

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your quick reply.
I think you’re right about the Tiger mosquito. We’re all up in arms here now to keep them out and get rid of their breeding grounds, but it’s kind of baffling to me how many people don’t know (or don’t care) much about the risks and keep their doors and windows open as usual. Even after you warn them. I’ve read that the death toll was already in the hundreds nation wide around juli / august and some 80.000 diagnosed cases, which is significantly more than the year before, so it sounds like it’s quite a substantial issue. Our area was apparently designated as “dengue hot zone” in August, but we had no idea.
Well I knew it was there of course, but not like this.Yet as soon as you start a compost heap in the back yard, the neighbors will be screaming their lungs out about snakes. Still have to see the first one after six months here, but I spotted the second Aedes already today. As long as the fever stays away.. But I fear that if Zika arrives (and it seems to be on its way), the doors will literally be wide open. Not the most comforting foresight, since my girlfriend and I are in the baby making phase right now..
Anyway, I should be directing my concerns towards the department of health here, not you 🙂 Thanks for helping me ID the mosquito and best of luck with whatsthatbug. I was browsing the site a little more, and only now am I realizing what a unique and amazing project this actually is. Or more like a work of love probably, with this much effort.
Thanks again and keep it up!
All the best,
Hugo

Thanks for the compliment Hugo, and good luck with your Mosquito control.

Correction Courtesy of Angel van Gulik:  January 17, 2017
So [this] is not an Aedes albopictus, but, in fact, an Aedes aegypti.  It’s in pretty bad condition, but the lines along the edge of the scutum are typical of an aegypti.  I’ve attached a figure to show the difference.

Letter 5 – Asian Tiger Mosquito in Spain

 

Subject: A strange visitor
Location: Alicante, Spain
July 16, 2016 5:55 pm
Dear Bugman, I was wondering if you could help me to identify a bug I came across. I came across it in southern Spain in the summertime. It is quite a fascinating looking creature, pale white dots with almost neon blue body. I assume it’s some breed of mosquito but I’d love to know more.
Thank you for your help!
Signature: Daniel Owen

Male Asian Tiger Mosquito
Male Asian Tiger Mosquito

Dear Daniel,
The bad news is that this is an introduced Asian Tiger Mosquito,
Aedes albopictus, and according to Spanish News Today:  “The mosquito can carry more than 20 exotic diseases, including West Nile fever, dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya virus and two types of encephalitis and is strikingly distinct from other mosquitos due to its distinctive black and white striped markings.”  The Asian Tiger Mosquito has also been introduced to North America, and according to BugGuide:  “The ATM differs from most other mosquitoes in that it’s diurnal (active during the day).”  The good news is that the feathery antennae indicate your individual is a male and male Mosquitoes do not feed on human blood, but there are more than likely a few females in the vicinity that may try to bite.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

Really neat looking Mosquito – White Striped!
September 26, 2009
You know you are a bug lover when you think a mosquito has beautiful stripes. I know they carry disease, but I had to take one for the team when I saw this guy biting my hand, and decided to take a picture of him.
Once Bitten Twice Shy
Austin, Texas

Asian Tiger Mosquito
Asian Tiger Mosquito

Dear Once Bitten Twice Shy,
Thanks so much for sending us an image of an Asian Tiger Mosquito, Aedes albopictus, an invasive species that was introduced to North America in the 1980s from Asia.  According to BugGuide:  “The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive and aggressive species that was introduced to the United States during the mid-1980s. It was first collected in Texas in 1985, apparently having traveled from Asia in a shipment of used tires. These mosquitoes are vicious biters and have been known to transmit disease.

Letter 2 – Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

What is this bug?
Location: Manassas VA
November 2, 2011 8:55 pm
I need your help. What is this cool bug?
Signature: Tom K

Male Asian Tiger Mosquito

Hi Tom,
Your insect is the introduced Asian Tiger Mosquito.  According to BugGuide:  “The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive and aggressive species that was introduced to the United States during the mid-1980s. It was first collected in Texas in 1985, apparently having traveled from Asia in a shipment of used tires. These mosquitoes are vicious biters and have been known to transmit disease.”  Unlike most Mosquitoes, the Asian Tiger Mosquito is a diurnal species that will bite during daylight hours.  According to
BugGuide:  “Adult females feed on the blood of birds, humans, and domestic & wild mammals.”  The antennae indicate that your individual is a non-biting male.

Letter 3 – Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

Subject: Insect Identification Request
Location: East side suburb of Cleveland, Ohio
August 6, 2013 5:14 pm
Need help identifying this insect. Appears to fly but possible that it just jumps far distances. Didn’t appear to be a spider…not sure. Daylight, outside, driveway of house, today, 8-6-13. Jumped or flew from arm to nearby ivy. Photos are of insect and ivy. Bit four times on forearm. Bites look similar to mosquito. Itchy. I have a short video if you’d like it. The front ’pinchers?’ would move open and closed, and open and closed.
Signature: Deb from Ohio

Asian Tiger Mosquito
Asian Tiger Mosquito

Hi Deb,
We might have been in Cleveland when you sent this request several weeks ago.  We were out of the office and not responding to any mail for 2 1/2 weeks because of a family emergency.  This is an Asian Tiger Mosquito,
Aedes albopictus, an invasive introduced species.  According to BugGuide:  “The ATM differs from most other mosquitos in that it’s diurnal (active during the day).  Eggs are laid singly above the water surface on the sides of water-holding containers such as tires, animal watering dishes, birdbaths, flowerpots and natural holes in vegetation. Multiple generations per year; overwinters in the egg stage in temperate climates” and “The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive and aggressive species that was introduced to the United States during the mid-1980s. It was first collected in Texas in 1985, apparently having traveled from Asia in a shipment of used tires. These mosquitoes are vicious biters and have been known to transmit disease.”

Letter 4 – Asian Tiger Mosquito from the Philippines

 

Subject: Is this a dengue mosquito?
Location: Ranger street, Matina, Davao, Philippines
November 10, 2016 10:46 pm
Hi bugman,
I was just stung my a mosquito and when it was bellying out on the wall, I noticed it had some white markings on its legs. I know Dengue mosquitos have this too, and I am currently also coming down with flu (slight headaches, sore throat, but no bleeding or rashes or anything). I’m living in the outskirts of Davao City in the Philippines and dengue is known to be present in this region (Mindanao).
I managed to take a few pictures of the mosquito. They’re not 100% sharp, but hopefully it will give you some clue.
I did kill the mosquito by the way. Sorry for that, I know you’re not a fan of that. Neither am I, but in the case of mosquitos (in relation to dengue) I’m not taking any chances.
Thanks in advance for your time. Hope you can identify it!
Greets,
Signature: Hugo Peek

Asian Tiger Mosquito
Asian Tiger Mosquito

Dear Hugo,
In no way would we ever tag accuse a person of Unnecessary Carnage for swatting a Mosquito.  Based on this BugGuide image, we believe this is an Asian Tiger Mosquito,
Aedes albopictus, and according to BugGuide:  “The Asian Tiger Mosquito is so named because of its conspicuous stripes, ferocious feeding behavior and its Asian origin.”  BugGuide provides the following medical importance information:  “Aedes albopictus is most well known for transmitting dengue and chikungunya viruses but it has also been found infected in nature with the following viruses: West Nile, Eastern equine encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis. It can also transmit dog heartworm parasites. (CDC) Ae. albopictus is a competent laboratory vector of at least 22 arboviruses.  Ae. albopictus may have played a major role in ZIKV transmission in Gabon in 2007. (13) Armstrong et al. (2013) tested > 34,000 Ae. albopictus from New Jersey over a 3-yr period to evaluate its importance as a regional arbovirus vector.”

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your quick reply.
I think you’re right about the Tiger mosquito. We’re all up in arms here now to keep them out and get rid of their breeding grounds, but it’s kind of baffling to me how many people don’t know (or don’t care) much about the risks and keep their doors and windows open as usual. Even after you warn them. I’ve read that the death toll was already in the hundreds nation wide around juli / august and some 80.000 diagnosed cases, which is significantly more than the year before, so it sounds like it’s quite a substantial issue. Our area was apparently designated as “dengue hot zone” in August, but we had no idea.
Well I knew it was there of course, but not like this.Yet as soon as you start a compost heap in the back yard, the neighbors will be screaming their lungs out about snakes. Still have to see the first one after six months here, but I spotted the second Aedes already today. As long as the fever stays away.. But I fear that if Zika arrives (and it seems to be on its way), the doors will literally be wide open. Not the most comforting foresight, since my girlfriend and I are in the baby making phase right now..
Anyway, I should be directing my concerns towards the department of health here, not you 🙂 Thanks for helping me ID the mosquito and best of luck with whatsthatbug. I was browsing the site a little more, and only now am I realizing what a unique and amazing project this actually is. Or more like a work of love probably, with this much effort.
Thanks again and keep it up!
All the best,
Hugo

Thanks for the compliment Hugo, and good luck with your Mosquito control.

Correction Courtesy of Angel van Gulik:  January 17, 2017
So [this] is not an Aedes albopictus, but, in fact, an Aedes aegypti.  It’s in pretty bad condition, but the lines along the edge of the scutum are typical of an aegypti.  I’ve attached a figure to show the difference.

Letter 5 – Asian Tiger Mosquito in Spain

 

Subject: A strange visitor
Location: Alicante, Spain
July 16, 2016 5:55 pm
Dear Bugman, I was wondering if you could help me to identify a bug I came across. I came across it in southern Spain in the summertime. It is quite a fascinating looking creature, pale white dots with almost neon blue body. I assume it’s some breed of mosquito but I’d love to know more.
Thank you for your help!
Signature: Daniel Owen

Male Asian Tiger Mosquito
Male Asian Tiger Mosquito

Dear Daniel,
The bad news is that this is an introduced Asian Tiger Mosquito,
Aedes albopictus, and according to Spanish News Today:  “The mosquito can carry more than 20 exotic diseases, including West Nile fever, dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya virus and two types of encephalitis and is strikingly distinct from other mosquitos due to its distinctive black and white striped markings.”  The Asian Tiger Mosquito has also been introduced to North America, and according to BugGuide:  “The ATM differs from most other mosquitoes in that it’s diurnal (active during the day).”  The good news is that the feathery antennae indicate your individual is a male and male Mosquitoes do not feed on human blood, but there are more than likely a few females in the vicinity that may try to bite.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts
Tags: Mosquito

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • We have seen many of these Asian Tiger Mosquitos for the first time ever, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, in July 2013. They are twice the size of our standard, everyday mosquito and bite twice as hard. Time to build more bat boxes!!

    Reply
    • What a nice idea to build bat boxes. Our editorial staff hails from your area, across the border in Youngstown, Ohio.

      Reply
  • Pretty sure these are in Phoenix now, as I just got bit by one 🙁

    Reply

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