Exotic mosquitoes

Mosquitoes may all look alike to us, but there are over 200 different species in Australia alone. Fortunately, New Zealand only has 15.

Photo of a yellow-and-brown northern house mosquito.
Northern house mosquito, photo by Ary Farajollahi, Bugwood.org.

Mosquitoes from overseas called ‘exotic’ mosquitoes but that doesn’t make them more interesting – just more of a nuisance.

Many of them can carry dangerous diseases we don’t have and don’t want.

They can travel with us by air and sea, and our cooler climate doesn’t always put them off staying.

What NZ is doing to stop them arriving

Things entering our ports and airports are thoroughly checked – including water lying in things like machinery or tyres. All aircraft from overseas are treated to kill insects.

You can find out more about what NZ does to stop mosquitoes arriving on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

No system is foolproof (we’ve had a few scares already).

We can do a lot to help stop mosquitoes from surviving if they do get here. Go to Stop mosquitoes breeding to find out more.

Photo of a black-and-white asian tiger mosquito.
Asian tiger mosquito, photo by Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org.

Unwanted mosquitoes

The exotic mosquitoes on the Unwanted Organisms Register include:

  • All mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles (over 300 species although not all are confirmed as vectors of disease)
  • Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito)
  • Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito)
  • Aedes camptorhynchus (southern saltmarsh mosquito)
  • Aedes japonicas (Japanese rockpool mosquito)
  • Aedes polynesiensis (Polynesian mosquito)
  • Aedes scutellaris
  • Aedes togoi
  • Aedes vigilax (northern saltmarsh mosquito)
  • Culex annulirostris (common banded mosquito)
  • Culex gelidus (frosty mosquito)
  • Culex pipiens pallens (northern house mosquito)
  • Culex sitiens
  • Ochlerotatus atropalpus (rockpool mosquito)
  • Ochlerotatus sierrensis (western tree hole mosquito)

Aedine species lay eggs above the surface of the water. These eggs can survive for long periods without water. Some species (eg, the northern and southern saltmarsh mosquito) can even survive outside the water as larvae, within damp mud of groundwater habitats. This makes them especially hard to eradicate.

You can find out more about exotic mosquitoes on the Southern Monitoring Services website.

Find out more from the Ministry

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