The mosquito species Culex modestus has been found in Finland for the first time.
The mosquito species Culex modestus has been found in Finland for the first time. In Southern Europe it is known to spread West Nile virus, but it is highly unlikely for the disease to occur in Finland.
A species of mosquito not previously recorded from Finland has been discovered in the coastal municipality of Pori. Culex modestus has become the 44th mosquito species found in Finland, and the northernmost record of the species in Europe. The previous findings closest to Finland, but further south, have been made in the Leningrad Province in Russia and in Skåne in Sweden.
The discovery was made by researcher Lorna Culverwell from the Department of Virology at the University of Helsinki. The new species was found amongst mosquito samples collected by Culverwell in summer 2022 in the coastal areas of Finland. One male specimen was identified after examining the genitalia and performing a DNA analysis.
“Only one specimen of this species was found, but I believe it to be unlikely that it would be the only one of its species in Finland,” says Culverwell.
Read more at University of Helsinki
Image: Culex modestus. (Credit: Lorna Culverwell via University of Helsinki)