The korean mosquito, able to withstand the cold, is increasingly widespread in Lombardy and, in particular, in the foothills and plains of Northern Italy. This was revealed by research conducted byUniversity of Milan.
Korean mosquito in Lombardy: the details of the research
In the summer of 2020, on the occasion of a surveillance program of places considered at risk of introducing new invasive mosquitoes, in particular in the area between the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia, the researchers collected about 6 thousand larvae and hundreds of eggs of mosquito. Many of the mosquitoes collected in Lombardy, also struggling with the invasion of Japanese beetles, have been identified as belonging to the species Aedes koreicus (the scientific name of the Korean mosquito). The specimens found probably originate from the South Korean volcanic island of the Jeju District.
Sara Epis, professor of the Department of Biosciences and research coordinator, explained in some statements reported by ‘La Repubblica’: “The Korean mosquito is endemic in Japan, in northern China, in South Korea and in some areas of Russia. In Italy it was reported for the first time in 2011 in the province of Belluno, at altitudes and climatic conditions unsuitable for the survival of most mosquito species. Since then, reports in northern Italy have increased. This mosquito tolerates low temperatures very well, so much so that it has already colonized a large hilly-mountainous area of Veneto he was born in Trentino“.
Paolo Gabrieli, researcher in the same Department, added: “Its presence in the foothills of the province of Bergamo leads us to think that theOrio al Serio international airport may be a possible route of introduction. Or, Aedes koreicus may have been introduced from other infested areas of Italy or Switzerland. Further genetic studies will help us to better understand its origin ”.
Korean mosquito: the risks for humans
According to the authors of the research of the University of Milan, among the best in the world, on the presence of the Korean mosquito in Lombardy, it is important to intensify investigations on these animals and, more particularly, on invasive alien species, as they are capable of transmitting pathogenic viruses to humans and animals.