Changes of mosquito populations in Hamburg

At over a hundred sites in metropolitan Hamburg, we have collected more than ten thousand mosquitoes and mosquito larvae. For the first time, Culex modestus was among them, which originates from the Mediterranean basin and has never been found this far north.

Prof. Rolf Garms and Prof. Egbert Tannich collect mosquitoes in a Hamburg biotope.
Prof. Rolf Garms and Prof. Egbert Tannich collect mosquitoes in a Hamburg biotope.

Likewise of Mediterranean origin is Anopheles algeriensis, which after half a century now pops up again in Northern Germany. In particular, the northern spreading of 
Cx. modestus may possibly relate to climate change. Of note, Cx. modestus is in Europe one of the most important vectors of West Nile virus, which – emerging from Africa – spread at a tearing pace all over North America between 2000 and 2003. Cx. modestus preferably breeds in mineral wetlands like the North German marsh. All the more interesting is the disappearance of Anopheles atroparvus, which was the prime malaria vector here before World War II and prefers similar breeding sites. Two more mosquitoes also found for the first time in Hamburg favour floodplains for breeding as well. In addition, the classical „floodplain mosquito“ Aedes vexans was found significantly more often than in 1970, obviously as a result of the systematic restoration of floodplains in Hamburg. The good news was that even after directed searches in the port and airport, no Asian tiger mosquitoes or bush mosquitoes were found, which transmit dreaded viruses like the Dengue and West Nile virus, respectively.


Krüger A. et al. Parasitol Res 2014, 113:2907-14

Andreas Krüger*, Jessica Börstler, Marlis Badusche, Renke Lühken, Rolf Garms, Egbert Tannich and 
external co-operation partners (see publication)
*) in house Tropical Medicine Department of the Bundeswehr