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Mosquito ecology

Background

Mosquitoes rely on standing water to lay their eggs. This means that they are found in a range of aquatic habitats. In Britain, mosquito larvae can be found in wetlands such as bogs, ponds and marshes, as well as in small water-filled holes in trees or in the ground. You might also see them in containers around houses, including water butts, paddling pools and gutters.

Different mosquito species breed in different types of aquatic habitat but most British species prefer natural wetlands. Our fieldwork is focusing on wetlands to characterise Scottish mosquito species composition and understand the distribution, abundance and ecology of potential vector species. 

mosquito habitats
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Wetland types

We are collecting larval and adult mosquitoes in wetlands and public spaces across Scotland to find out which mosquito species are present and how they are distributed in Scotland, as well as how mosquito abundance varies seasonally and in response to environmental conditions. We are also surveying an urban-rural gradient in west Scotland to understand variation in human exposure to mosquitoes. Establishing baseline data on mosquito species diversity and habitats within Scotland will allow us to monitor and predict any future changes in vector species abundance and distributions.

A person measuring environmental variables at the side of a pond

Photo: Rebecca Brown

A mosquito trap in a forest

Photo: Rebecca Brown

A person sampling mosquito larvae in a reedbed using a dipper

Photo: Georgia Kirby

You can help us to discover more about Scottish mosquito ecology!

Visit our citizen science page to find out how.

If you would like to know more about mosquito ecology and wetland habitats, you can read more in the online Wetland Mosquito Survey Handbook.

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