Modelling the distribution of the southern house mosquito

This study uses GBIF-mediated occurrences to model current and future distributions of a potential vector of several disease-causing agents

GBIF-mediated data resources used : 1,402 species occurrences
Culex quinquefasciatus

Culex quinquefasciatus ovipositing (laying eggs). Photo by Sean McCann licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Outbreaks of vector-borne diseases may be associated with range expansion of vector populations, and predicting the potential distribution of vectors can aid disease prevention. In this study, researchers model the distribution of the southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus) known to carry disease-causing agents such as West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis virus, but also potentially Zika virus and a number of viruses that cause disease in livestock and other animals.

Under present-day conditions the potential distribution of C. quinquefasciatus showed high suitability in southern North America, most of South America, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and most of Australia and New Zealand. Projections using future climate scenarios revealed similar distribution patterns, however, with small, but significant increases, particularly in southern Australia.

Combining the maps of potential present-day and future distributions can identify areas, in which control and surveillance programs should be prioritized to help prevent disease outbreak.

Samy AM, Elaagip AH, Kenawy MA, Ayres CFJ, Peterson AT and Soliman DE (2016) Climate Change Influences on the Global Potential Distribution of the Mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus, Vector of West Nile Virus and Lymphatic Filariasis. PLOS ONE. Public Library of Science (PLoS) 11(10): e0163863. Available at: