Exotic mosquito species established in New Zealand

The presence of exotic mosquito species in Aotearoa New Zealand increases the risk of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks here.

Surveillance Reports and Metadata

Surveillance Report: Exotic mosquito species established in New Zealand (March 2023) View interactive report Download report PDF
Metadata: Exotic mosquito species established in New Zealand Download report PDF

Exotic mosquitoes present an ongoing risk to New Zealand’s health

Exotic mosquitoes can spread mosquito-borne viruses (eg, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya) and parasitic diseases (eg, Malaria) from infected people to the broader population. These diseases are a major cause of illness and death globally, with Malaria alone causing over 400,000 deaths annually [1].

International travel and climate change enable exotic mosquitoes to spread to new territories. Mosquito-borne diseases (MBDs) are spreading globally, with a wet, humid, warmer climate enabling new regions to be established with various mosquito species [2]. Establisment of high-risk exotic mosquitoes in New Zealand would increase the risk of MBD outbreaks occurring. New Zealand’s native mosquitoes tend to bite birds and are considered less likely to spread serious diseases to humans. Different types of exotic mosquitoes have varied abilities to spread different diseases. So, monitoring the types and distribution of exotic mosquitoes which have been introduced to New Zealand is important.

Table 1 below presents a brief history of exotic mosquitos which have established in New Zealand. For further details, view the factsheet linked at the top of this page.


Table 1: New Zealand’s recent history of exotic mosquito introductions

Exotic mosquito species known to have established in New Zealand Time period New Zealand distribution

Aedes australis
(Saltwater Mosquito)

1961 - present

Southern half of
South Island

Aedes notoscriptus
(Ankle biting mosquito)

1916 - present

Entire North Island and North of Timaru Port
in the South Island

Culex quinquefasciatus
(Southern house mosquito)
1830 - present Entire North Island and North of Timaru Port
in the South Island

Aedes camptorhynchus
(Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito)

1998 - 2010 Eradicated

Culex sitiens
(Salt marsh culex)

2018 -

Data source: New Zealand BioSecure, 2023 [3]


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