New AIDGAP test version for 2015: The Mosquitoes (Culicidae) of Britain and Ireland | Biodiversity Projects

New AIDGAP test version for 2015: The Mosquitoes (Culicidae) of Britain and Ireland

Mosquito.  Line drawing: Thom Dallimore

FSC Publications have been working with Clare Strode and Thom Dallimore at Edge Hill University to develop a new AIDGAP guide to the mosquitoes of Great Britain and Ireland. This will be ready for AIDGAP testing from spring 2015.

If you have not been involved in AIDGAP testing, and would like to do so in the future, you can register on the FSC website.

Mosquito silhouetteWhy mosquitoes? As well as interest to the biological recording community, identification of mosquitoes has a real applied value in the fields of human and animal health. Although some identification materials are available, an up-to-date treatment of the approximately 34 British and Irish species would be helpful.

There is growing interest in the European mosquito fauna because of the increased threat of mosquito-borne diseases as the range of some species expands northwards. Although nothing mosquito-borne has reared its head in the UK so far, it may only be a matter of time.

As part of their research, the authors have been working with the Liverpool Port Authorities (LPA) to prevent potentially deadly diseases entering the UK. Disease vectors including mosquitoes may inadvertently be imported through shipping vessels in the UK. Liverpool has, of course, long been a major port; currently the UK’s sixth highest in annual freight tonnage (behind Immingham, London, Milford Haven, Southampton and Teesside). Working together, Edge Hill and the LPA are designing an efficient method for the surveillance of mosquitoes that could be carrying diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, West Nile virus and chikungunya.

Watch this space - The test version of ‘Mosquitoes’ will be available later this year.