Mosquitoes in South East Queensland breed where there is enough stagnant water available for both egg-laying and the mosquito life cycle to take place.
Estuarine areas like coastal marsh and mangrove swamp habitats are popular breeding grounds for a number of mosquito species.
- Aedes vigilax - lays its eggs in the soil around coastal shrubs or grasses such as Sarcocornia and Sporobolus. It is a persistent biter that is widely dispersed across southeast Queensland, and we suspect it carries Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses. It is considered more of a pest than any other mosquito species in this area.
- Aedes alternans - lays eggs in the soil around coastal shrubs or grasses such as Sarcocornia and Sporobolus.
- Culex sitiens - lays eggs in rafts on the water's surface.
Estuarine-breeding species are often nuisance biters that carry and transmit infectious diseases between humans and animals. Their eggs usually hatch after significant rainfall or high tides (over 2.4 metres in Brisbane and its surrounds).
Freshwater sources where mosquitoes breed include permanent (or semi-permanent) bodies of fresh water, usually where there is emergent vegetation, such as freshwater wetland, floodplains, ditches and gullies.
Species that breed in freshwater include:
- Culex annulirostris - is a nuisance biter and we suspect it carries Ross River and Murray Valley encephalitis viruses
- Aedes procax
- Coquilletidia linealis
- Mansonia uniformis
- Verralina funerea.
DOMESTIC WATER SOURCES
Mosquitoes can breed in any stagnant domestic water source, including water that has collected or stagnated in containers, man-made structures and vegetation near human dwellings (for example, in bromeliads, tree holes and leaf axils).
In southeast Queensland, the most common domestic breeding species are:
- Aedes notoscriptus - a suspected carrier of Ross River virus and dog heartworm
- Culex quinquefasciatus - not known to carry disease in Australia but in other countries can transmit pathogens such as West Nile virus and lymphatic filariasis
- Toxorhynchites speciosus - this species does not bite vertebrates and its larvae consume other mosquito larvae, so it is not a pest.
Domestic water sources further north are the preferred breeding sites for mosquitoes that transmit human pathogens such as Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses. These mosquitoes are of particular concern and include:
- Aedes aegypti - present in parts of northern and central Queensland
- Aedes albopictus - present throughout the Torres Strait islands.
Being vigilant and reducing domestic water sources in your yard or community will ensure that these disease carriers do not spread further into southern Queensland.