Information on Aedes japonicus
Aedes japonicus is an Asian species of mosquito generally found in Japan, Korea, the Ryukyu Archipelago (Okinawa and associated islands), Taiwan, South China, and Hong Kong. In 1998, the subspecies Aedes japonicus japonicus was first detected in the United States in New York and New Jersey. Since that time, Aedes japonicus has been found in six other states: Ohio, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The adult female of Aedes japonicus is a medium-sized mosquito of dark- to blackish-brown appearance, with white scales on the body and legs.
Larvae are found in a wide variety of natural and artificial containers, including rock holes and used tires. Preferred sites usually are shaded and contain water rich in organic matter. The similarity of breeding habitats used by Aedes japonicus to those of other Aedes species suggests that the transport of eggs, larvae, and pupae in used tires may be an important mechanism for introducing the species into previously uninfested areas. Eggs are resistant to desiccation and can survive several weeks or months under dry conditions. Aedes japonicus overwinters as eggs in the more northern parts of its range. However, it is found throughout the winter as larvae as far north as Tokyo (37° N), which is equal in latitude to Norfolk, Virginia.
Although few studies have been done to assess the public and veterinary health importance of Aedes japonicus, this species is suspected of being a vector of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus to swine in northern Japan. Under experimental conditions it has been shown to transmit JE virus to mice and also to transmit the virus to its progeny through the eggs. Unpublished studies conducted at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, MD, indicate that Aedes japonicus is also a competent experimental vector of West Nile virus, a flavivirus closely related to JE and St. Louis encephalitis viruses.
Adult species of Aedes japonicus rest in wooded areas and prefer to bite during the daytime. In the laboratory, they feed readily on chicks and mice, but not on reptiles or amphibians. Further studies on Aedes japonicus are needed to more clearly define their feeding preferences in a variety of situations.
As with other biting insects, the use of protective clothing (i.e., long-sleeved shirts and long pants) and insect repellent is recommended to prevent bites.
This page last reviewed November 7, 2005
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention