Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Potential Distribution of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) scapularis (Diptera: Culicidae): A Vector Mosquito New to the Florida Peninsula

Version 1 : Received: 19 December 2020 / Approved: 21 December 2020 / Online: 21 December 2020 (10:50:19 CET)

How to cite: Campbell, L.P.; Burkett-Cadena, N.; Miqueli, E.; Unlu, I.; Sloyer, K.; Medina, J.; Vasquez, C.; Petrie, W.; Reeves, L. Potential Distribution of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) scapularis (Diptera: Culicidae): A Vector Mosquito New to the Florida Peninsula. Preprints 2020, 2020120502 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0502.v1). Campbell, L.P.; Burkett-Cadena, N.; Miqueli, E.; Unlu, I.; Sloyer, K.; Medina, J.; Vasquez, C.; Petrie, W.; Reeves, L. Potential Distribution of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) scapularis (Diptera: Culicidae): A Vector Mosquito New to the Florida Peninsula. Preprints 2020, 2020120502 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0502.v1).

Abstract

Aedes scapularis is a neotropical mosquito known to transmit pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. Its recent establishment in southeastern Florida has potential public health implications. We used an ecological niche modeling approach to predict the abiotic environmental suitability for Ae. scapularis across much of the Americas and Caribbean Islands. Georeferenced occurrence data obtained from the Global Biodiversity Inventory Facility and recent collection records of Ae. scapularis from southern Florida served as input for model calibration. Environmental layers included bioclimatic variables provided in 2000 to 2010 average Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications climatic (MERRAclim) data. Models were run in the software program Maxent. Isothermality values found often in costal environments contributed strongest to model performance. Model projections suggested areas predicted suitable for Ae. scapularis across portions of the Amazon Basin, the Yucatán Peninsula, the Florida Peninsula, and multiple Caribbean Islands. Additionally, model predictions suggested connectivity of highly suitable or relatively suitable environments spanning the United States Gulf Coast, which may facilitate geographic expansion of this species. At least sixteen Florida counties were predicted highly suitable for Ae. scapularis, suggesting vigilance is needed by vector control and public health agencies to recognize further spread of this vector.

Subject Areas

invasive species; ecological niche models; species distribution models; vector surveillance

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