Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) distribution data from a recent inventory of native and invading mosquito species in Belgium were compared with historical data from the period 1900–1960 that were retrieved from a revision of the Belgian Culicidae collection at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Both data sets were used to investigate trends in mosquito species richness in several regions in Belgium. The relative change in distribution area of mosquito species was particularly important for species that use waste waters and used tires as larval habitats and species that recently shifted their larval habitat to artificial larval habitats. More importantly, several of these species are known as vectors of arboviruses and Plasmodium sp. and the apparent habitat shift of some of them brought these species in proximity to humans. Similar studies comparing current mosquito richness with former distribution data retrieved from voucher specimens from collections is therefore encouraged because they can generate important information concerning health risk assessment at both regional and national scale.
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Vol. 50 • No. 2