Potential distribution of aedes (Ochlerotatus) scapularis (diptera: Culicidae): A vector mosquito new to the florida peninsula

Lindsay P. Campbell, Nathan D. Burkett-Cadena, Evaristo Miqueli, Isik Unlu, Kristin E. Sloyer, Johana Medina, Chalmers Vasquez, William Petrie, Lawrence E. Reeves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Aedes scapularis is a neotropical mosquito known to transmit pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. Its recent establishment in southeastern Florida has potential public health implications. We used an ecological niche modeling approach to predict the abiotic environmental suitability for Ae. scapularis across much of the Americas and Caribbean Islands. Georeferenced occurrence data obtained from the Global Biodiversity Inventory Facility and recent collection records of Ae. scapularis from southern Florida served as input for model calibration. Environmental layers included bioclimatic variables provided in 2000 to 2010 average Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications climatic (MERRAclim) data. Models were run in the software program Maxent. Isothermality values often found in costal environments, had the greatest contribution to model performance. Model projections suggested that there are areas predicted to be suitable for Ae. Scapularis across portions of the Amazon Basin, the Yucatán Peninsula, the Florida Peninsula, and multiple Caribbean Islands. Additionally, model predictions suggested connectivity of highly suitable or relatively suitable environments spanning the United States Gulf Coast, which may facilitate the geographic expansion of this species. At least sixteen Florida counties were predicted to be highly suitable for Ae. scapularis, suggesting that vigilance is needed by vector control and public health agencies to recognize the further spread of this vector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number213
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aedes
  • Ecological niche models
  • Invasive species
  • Species distribution models
  • Vector surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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