Since the initial discovery of Aedes japonicus japonicus in 1998 from sites in the northeastern United States (New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey), this invasive mosquito species now permeates local faunas throughout eastern North America and continues to expand its distribution westward. In July and August of 2006, the 1st reported specimens of Ae. japonicus were detected in east central Illinois at 2 woodlots in southern Urbana. Sampling efforts were concentrated around the site of the original detection. Dry ice–baited light traps and gravid traps caught 26,421 mosquitoes, with 5 and 6 Ae. japonicus recovered from each trap type, respectively. Although numerous larvae were found in 1 woodlot, they were restricted to a single container, a child's plastic swimming pool. Routine weekly mosquito sampling for West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance in Urbana and the adjacent city of Champaign (gravid and dry ice–baited traps placed in agricultural, industrial, residential, and urban parks) failed to detect Ae. japonicus outside of the 2 woodlots. Despite previous reports of Ae. japonicus from the adjacent states of Indiana and Missouri in 2004 and 2005, the extremely localized spatial distribution and low abundance of this species strongly suggests a recent introduction. If Ae. japonicus follows previous trends in the United States and Canada, within 1–3 years after it becomes established, its abundance, frequency of detection, and spatial distribution will significantly expand. Aedes japonicus has some characteristics of a bridge vector for West Nile virus because of its vector competency, ability to feed on mammals and birds, and potential abundance near sites of known WNV transmission in Illinois.
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Vol. 23 • No. 3