Advertisement

Parasitology Research

, Volume 118, Issue 5, pp 1385–1391 | Cite as

DNA-aided identification of Culex mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) reveals unexpected diversity in underground cavities in Austria

  • Carina ZittraEmail author
  • Otto Moog
  • Erhard Christian
  • Hans-Peter Fuehrer
Open Access
Arthropods and Medical Entomology - Original Paper
  • 472 Downloads

Abstract

Subterranean cavities serve as resting places and hibernation shelters for mosquitoes. In Europe, members of the genus Culex are often the most abundant insects on cave walls. Culex pipiens L., the common house mosquito, exists in two physically very similar, yet genetically and ecologically distinct biotypes (or forms, ‘f.’), namely Cx. pipiens f. pipiens and Cx. pipiens f. molestus. Autogeny and stenogamy of the latter form have been interpreted as adaptations to underground habitats. The epigean occurrence of the two biotypes and their hybrids was recently examined in Eastern Austria, but the hypogean distribution of the Cx. pipiens complex and morphologically similar non-members such as Cx. torrentium is unknown. Considering the key role of Culex mosquitoes in the epidemiology of certain zoonotic pathogens, the general paucity of data on species composition and relative abundance in subterranean shelters appears unfortunate.

For a first pertinent investigation in Austria, we collected mosquitoes in four eastern federal states. Based on analyses of the ACE2 gene and the CQ11 microsatellite locus, 150 female and three male mosquitoes of the genus Culex, two females of the genus Culiseta and a single female of the genus Anopheles were determined to species level or below. In our catches, Cx. pipiens f. pipiens exceeded the apparent abundance of the purportedly cave-adapted Cx. pipiens f. molestus many times over. Records of Cx. hortensis and Cx. territans, two species rarely collected in Austria, lead us to infer that underground habitats host a higher diversity of culicine mosquitoes than previously thought.

Keywords

Culex pipiens s. L. Hybrids Culex torrentium Caves Parietal fauna Hibernation 

Introduction

Underground spaces such as natural caves, mining galleries, tunnels and culverts (henceforth referred to as ‘caves’) are resting and hibernation shelters for numerous families of insects, including hematophagous Diptera such as Psychodidae, Ceratopogonidae and Culicidae (Obame-Nkoghe et al. 2017a; Carvalho et al. 2016).

Mosquitoes (Culicidae) include vectors of human and veterinary pathogens such as arboviruses, haemosporidians and filarioid nematodes (Norris 2004; Schoener et al. 2017; Übleis et al. 2018). Distribution and transmission of these pathogens are regulated through communities of potential vector organisms (Zittra et al. 2017a). About 10% of the 3500 known mosquito species play a major role in pathogen transmission (Becker et al. 2010; Diniz et al. 2017).

Members of the Culex pipiens complex are critical for the epidemiology of certain viruses that menace public and veterinary health (Brugman et al. 2018). At least, Sindbis and Sindbis-like viruses (Togaviridae), Lednice virus (Bunyaviridae) and Usutu and West Nile virus (Flaviviridae) are primarily transmitted by Culex species in Europe (Becker et al. 2012; Roiz et al. 2012; Fros et al. 2015). Furthermore, persistence of the West Nile virus lineage 2 throughout the winter season in Europe, facilitated by vertical transmission, is strongly linked to this species complex (Rudolf et al. 2017). Heed must be paid to the fact that different host preferences of the two Cx. pipiens forms and the hybrids entail distinct vector competences (Lundström et al. 1990; Vogels et al. 2016). In addition, the two forms exhibit ecological differentiation: Culex pipiens f. pipiens is basically ornithophilic (bird-biting), anautogenous (the female requires a blood meal for egg development) and eurygamous (mates while swarming in a large breeding area), whereas Cx. pipiens f. molestus is mammalophilic (preferring mammals), autogenous (can lay a first batch of eggs without a blood meal) and stenogamous (mates in restricted space without nuptial flight). Immature stages of both forms are found at epigean sites, whereas in hypogean sites only f. molestus has been recorded so far (Byrne and Nichols 1999). Furthermore, the two biotypes are known to hybridise in areas where they coexist (Zittra et al. 2016), which may result in populations that act as bridge vectors due to their feeding preferences (Hamer et al. 2008; Černý et al. 2011). Previous studies, not only with reference to Austria, mainly focused on epigean urban and wetland habitats, completely neglecting less accessible sites such as natural caves (Lebl et al. 2014; Zittra et al. 2016).

The mosquito species inventory of Austria currently holds 49 species of eight genera (Zittra et al. 2017b). Only a restricted number of these has been reported from both natural and man-made underground cavities in Austria, namely Cx. pipiens s.l. (recorded in several federal states: Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Vienna, Burgenland, Styria and Carinthia), Cx. hortensis and Ochlerotatus geniculatus (Carinthia), Culiseta annulata (Lower Austria and Burgenland) (Strouhal and Vornatscher 1975) and Uranotaenia unguiculata (Lower Austria) (Rudolf et al. 2015). The Cx. pipiens complex, usually referred to as the common house mosquito, consists of several taxa (Bahnck and Fonseca 2006; Farajollahi et al. 2011). In Austria, only one species of this complex has been confirmed so far: Cx. pipiens L., with the biotypes Cx. pipiens f. pipiens, Cx. pipiens f. molestus and hybrids of the two (Zittra et al. 2016). A number of Culex species are genetically separated from the Cx. pipiens complex (Farajollahi et al. 2011), yet morphologically hardly distinguishable in the female sex. In Austria, this pertains to Cx. torrentium (Zittra et al. 2016).

Mosquitoes differ in their hibernation strategy (Andreadis et al. 2010). While many species hibernate in immature stages, Culex pipiens s.l. is among the mosquitoes that enter hibernacula for resting as non-blood fed, nulliparous and inseminated females. Hibernating parous females seem to experience high mortality (Andreadis et al. 2010).

Since specimens of the genus Culex from underground cavities have seldom been reliably determined to species level or below, the relevance of these shelters with regard to population dynamics and a potential public health risk is hard to assess. So it seems advisable to establish culicid taxa composition and relative abundance in a previously neglected habitat type: the subterranean realm. In this study, we searched into the composition of mosquito assemblages in Austrian caves for the first time, using—in case of genus Culex—molecular tools. We examined whether the presence of Cx. pipiens is in fact much higher than the presence of any other culicid species, as the catalogue of Austrian cave animals (Strouhal and Vornatscher 1975) suggests, and whether alleged underground-adapted Cx. pipiens f. molestus are actually more abundant than Cx. pipiens f. pipiens or hybrids of the two biotypes.

Material and methods

Mosquito sampling

From 2015 to 2018, we collected mosquitoes in 44 caves in eastern Austria. Table 1 gives the basis data of the sampling sites. The sites were selected such as to cover the different types of cave-like habitats scattered over the federal states of Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland and Styria, with a geographic focus on the Vienna region. Each locality was sampled one to three times, only cave Schelmenloch was sampled monthly from January 2017 to May 2018. The effort always equated to one person-hour. We used an aspirator for collecting mosquitoes resting on the cave walls. A moistened duster proved efficient for the catch of flying mosquitoes. Small caves were completely screened for mosquitoes, bigger caves from the entrance to well beyond the innermost mosquito sampling spot (in the aphotic zone, if present). The specimens were transported in cooled plastic tubes to the lab, subsequently deep-frozen and kept in the freezer until examination. Mosquitoes were identified morphologically to species or species complex level using the identification key after Becker et al. (2010). Mosquitoes classified as belonging to the Cx. pipiens complex or Cx. torrentium were identified subsequently to species level or form level by means of molecular tools.
Table 1

Name, position and characteristics of the sampling sites

Sampling site

Cave #

Fed. prov.

Municipality

Length, aphotic (X)

Alt.

Lat.

Long.

Vertebrates present

Visitor pressure

Adlersteighöhle

1915/1

LA

Maria Enzersdorf

16

255

48.084

16.276

 

H

Allander Tropfsteinhöhle

1911/2

LA

Alland

177 (X)

403

48.053

16.077

A

S

Altenburgerhöhle

2921/23

LA

Bad Deutsch-Altenburg

58 (X)

154

48.140

16.908

  

Antonsgrotte

1912/40

LA

Baden

54 (X)

298

48.011

16.229

  

Camaldulensergrotte am Kahlenberg

Artificial

VI

Wien 19

9

396

48.273

16.331

  

Durchlass B 1939 Schreiberbach

Artificial

VI

Wien 19

27

427

48.274

16.321

  

Durchlass Krapfenwaldbach

Artificial

VI

Wien 19

20

329

48.266

16.332

  

Einödhöhle

1914/6

LA

Pfaffstätten

87

375

48.024

16.236

A

H

Einsiedlerhöhle

1912/4

LA

Baden

14

320

48.013

16.205

  

Excentriqueshöhle

1915/32

LA

Kaltenleutgeben

18

348

48.122

16.222

  

Gainfarnerhöhle

1911/16

LA

Bad Vöslau

25

330

47.965

16.191

  

Grafenlucke III

2911/72

BL

Winden am See

6

170

47.968

16.754

 

H

Grotte Gspöttgraben

Artificial

VI

Wien 19

3

367

48.259

16.313

  

Grufthöhle

1912/9

LA

Baden

72 (X)

276

48.010

16.229

  

Guglzipfhöhle

1869/1

LA

Berndorf

16

350

47.942

16.110

  

Güntherhöhle

2921/2

LA

Hundsheim

206 (X)

265

48.121

16.936

  

Höllturmhöhle

1869/7

LA

Wöllersdorf

180 (X)

355

47.867

16.174

 

H

Johannesbachklamm-Höhle

1861/7

LA

Würflach

30

440

47.780

16.040

  

Johannstein-Halbhöhle

1915/24

LA

Hinterbrühl

2

410

48.085

16.184

  

Keller am Nussberg

Artificial

VI

Wien 19

4

235

48.263

16.357

  

Kohlröserlhöhle

1863/59

LA

Hohe Wand

14

820

47.840

16.065

A

H

Kolloweinhöhle

2911/37

BL

Müllendorf

10

245

47.846

16.459

  

Ludlloch

2911/1

BL

Winden am See

93

190

47.970

16.754

 

H

Luftschutzloch

1869/35

LA

Pottenstein

7

335

47.966

16.085

  

Lurgrotte, Peggau

2836/1

ST

Peggau

5975 (X)

412

47.216

15.343

A

S

Lurgrotte, Semriach

2836/1

ST

Semriach

5975 (X)

636

47.227

15.379

 

S

Merkensteinhöhle

1911/32

LA

Bad Vöslau

72 (X)

446

47.982

16.133

  

Merkurhöhle

1917/5

LA

Kaltenleutgeben

11

326

48.123

16.217

  

Mittlerer Stollen, Peggauer Wand

Artificial

ST

Peggau

2

440

47.209

15.347

  

Mühlriegelhöhle

2911/46

BL

Purbach

12

174

47.920

16.675

  

Muldenloch

1912/31

LA

Baden

14

325

48.013

16.228

  

Müllendorferhöhle

2911/30

BL

Großhöflein

10

340

47.846

16.476

  

Nördlicher Stollen, Peggauer Wand

Artificial

ST

Peggau

2 (X)

440

47.209

15.347

A

 

Parabluieberghöhle

1915/25

LA

Perchtoldsdorf

6

546

48.120

16.230

  

Räuberhöhle

1861/12

LA

Neunkirchen

30

393

47.752

16.068

  

Römersteinbruch

Artificial

ST

Wagna

2000 (X)

305

46.749

15.549

A, B

 

Schelmenloch

1911/41

LA

Bad Vöslau

60

330

47.981

16.197

A, B, C, RD

 

Schüttkastenhöhle

1913/14

LA

Heiligenkreuz

17

314

48.054

16.129

  

Staffelhöhle

1912/30

LA

Baden

17

325

48.016

16.225

  

Stollen bei der Lourdesgrotte

Artificial

LA

Heiligenkreuz

17

314

48.054

16.129

 

H

Türkenbrunnen

Artificial

LA

Bad Vöslau

62

530

47.985

16.124

  

Unteres Türkenloch

1869/83

LA

Berndorf

5

340

47.942

16.111

  

Wasserglurn

1913/12

LA

Heiligenkreuz

57 (X)

285

48.030

16.137

  

Zisterne Maurer Wald

Artificial

VI

Wien 13

3

350

48.274

16.237

  

Cave # = number in the Austrian cave cadastre; Fed. prov. = federal province (BL, Burgenland; LA, lower Austria; ST, Styria, VI, Vienna) Length = total passage length (m), (X) = aphotic parts present; Alt. = altitude (m above sea level); Lat. = Latitude; Long. = Longitude; Vertebrates recorded at sampling date(s): A = Rhinolophus hipposideros, B = Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, C = Myotis myotis, RD = Rana dalmatina; Visitor pressure: S = show cave (open for guided tours), H = attraction on a hiking trail (unattended visits are common)

DNA extraction and molecular identification

DNA was extracted from single individuals using the DNeasy Blood and Tissue Kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) according to the manufacturer’s protocol. In a first step, Cx. pipiens forms were distinguished from Cx. torrentium by partial amplification of the ACE2 gene (Smith and Fonseca 2004) using primers ACEpip, ACEpall, ACEtorr and B1246s in standard PCR protocols (Zittra et al. 2016). PCR products were separated using gel electrophoresis targeting 634 bp (Cx. pipiens forms) and 512 bp (Cx. torrentium) DNA fragments. Mosquitoes, determined as members of Cx. pipiens complex, were subsequently identified to biotype level in a second step (Bahnck and Fonseca 2006) using primers CQ11F2, pip CQ11R and mol CQ11R in standard PCR protocols. PCR products were visualised using gel electrophoresis targeting 185 bp (Cx. pipiens f. pipiens) and 241 bp (Cx. pipiens f. molestus) DNA fragments (Bahnck and Fonseca 2006). Fragments (ca. 700 bp) of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) of the negative samples were partially amplified using primers H15CuliCOIFw and H15CuliCOIRv (Zittra et al. 2016) in standard protocols, to test for members of similar Culex species that had possibly passed unnoticed through the initial morphology-based sorting. PCR products were subsequently purified and directly sequenced by a commercial company (LGC Genomics, Germany).

Results

Mosquito identification

We analysed 150 female and three male mosquitoes of the genus Culex. The male mosquitoes belonged to Cx. torrentium and were all collected in June and July. Among females, Cx. torrentium (n = 69) was most abundant, followed by Cx. pipiens f. pipiens (n = 44), Culex hortensis (n = 20) and the hybrids Cx. pipiens f. pipiens × f. molestus (n = 13). Culex pipiens f. molestus (n = 3) was represented in low apparent abundance. Culex territans (n = 3) has been found rarely in natural and artificial subterranean habitats, the likewise rare species Cx. modestus (n = 1) in a single natural cave. In this study, four species, namely Cx. hortensis, Cx. territans, Cx. torrentium and a single female of Anopheles maculipennis s.l. were recorded for the first time in subterranean habitats in Austria (Table 2). Females of Culiseta annulata (n = 2) were sampled in a natural and an artificial site in Lower Austria.
Table 2

Mosquitoes (number of individuals) sampled between 2015 and 2018 per month

Month

An. mac. s.l.

Cs. ann.

Cx. hor.

Cx. mod.

Cx. ter.

Cx. tor.

Cx. pip. f. mol.

Cx. pip. f. pip.

Hybrid

Excluded

Total

Jan

  

7

  

6

   

1

14

Feb

  

4

  

5

 

3

 

7

19

Mar

     

2

 

1

3

1

7

Apr

  

1

 

1

  

1

2

7

12

May

         

1

1

Jun

     

2

    

2

Jul

1

    

2

   

1

4

Aug

          

0

Sept

  

1

 

1

6

 

2

 

4

14

Oct

  

3

  

26

2

26

7

26

90

Nov

     

17

1

11

1

22

52

Dec

 

2

4

1

1

3

   

7

18

Total

1

2

20

1

3

69

3

44

13

77

233

An. mac. s.l. = Anopheles maculipennis sensu lato, Cs. ann. = Culiseta annulata, Cx. hor. = Culex hortensis, Cx. mod. = Culex modestus, Cx. ter. = Culex territans, Cx. tor. = Cx. torrentium, Cx. pip. f. pip. = Culex pipiens form pipiens, Cx. pip. f. mol. = Culex pipiens form molestus

Mosquito distribution and phenology

Culex torrentium and Cx. pipiens f. pipiens were found in all federal states in artificial and natural subterranean habitats, single individuals of Cx. pipiens f. molestus in Burgenland and Lower Austria at natural sites, hybrids of the two forms in Burgenland, Lower Austria and Styria, mainly in natural caves. Culex hortensis was found in Lower Austria and Vienna, a single Cx. territans in Lower Austria. Male Cx. torrentium were found in a natural cave as well as in a tunnel in Lower Austria.

Mosquitoes were abundant in the twilight zone near the entrance and decreased towards the inner reaches. Maximum abundance was determined in autumn. The number of individuals increased in September and decreased after a peak in October (Table 3). Mosquitoes were absent at the study sites in August.
Table 3

Mosquitoes (number of individuals) sampled between 2015 and 2018 per federal state. Abbreviations as in Table 2

Federal state

An. mac. s.l.

Cs. ann.

Cx. hor.

Cx. mod.

Cx. ter.

Cx. tor.

Cx. pip. f. mol.

Cx. pip. f. pip.

Excl.

Hybrid

Total

Burgenland

     

2

1

9

26

7

45

Lower Austria

1

2

19

1

3

46

2

26

41

5

146

Styria

     

2

 

7

1

1

11

Vienna

  

1

  

19

 

2

9

 

31

Total

 

2

20

1

3

69

3

44

77

13

233

Discussion

Previous observations in Lower Austrian caves (Fritsch 1992; Wurzenberger 1996) indicate that mated female mosquitoes enter caves for hibernation from late summer on. After abundance peaks in September or October, the number of individuals drops during winter due to mortality. This conforms to our results. We found females from September to May with highest abundance in September and October. The males were collected in June and July. This proves that caves can serve as resting places also for male mosquitoes, although at another season.

The composition of the Cx. pipiens complex in subterranean habitats reflects the observed species composition in Austrian overground habitats: Cx. pipiens f. pipiens is most abundant, followed by hybrids and Cx. pipiens f. molestus (Zittra et al. 2016). Since Cx. pipiens f. molestus is described to be adapted to subterranean life (Byrne and Nichols 1999), we had expected a higher proportion of this form. Our results suggest, however, that subterranean habitats do not host significant numbers of the biotype molestus. It seems that the two forms are equally inclined to spend winter dormancy in caves. Further investigations in extended caves with a zone of perfect darkness, the aphotic zone and steady climate should put this statement to the proof. At the same time, the distribution of the two biotypes along the light and climate gradients could be determined.

The high abundance and frequent occurrence of Cx. torrentium is new for Austria, but the species has been reported as a winter guest in underground habitats of other European countries: Dobat (1975, 1978) and Weber (1989, 1991, 1995) published several findings in Germany; records in Norway (Kjaerandsen 1993), Sweden (Jaenson 1987) and Slovakia (Moravčík 1976) were compiled by Dvořák (2014). However, these determinations are questionable, since females of Cx. torrentium are morphologically indistinguishable from females of the Cx. pipiens complex. In our investigation, Cx. torrentium, an often neglected, mainly ornithophilic mosquito species, had the highest apparent abundance in natural as well as in artificial cavities.

Combining our results with literature, seven of the 49 culicid species currently known from Austria have been recorded in subterranean habitats so far: Anopheles maculipennis s.l, Cx. torrentium, Cx. pipiens (with the biotypes Cx. pipiens f. pipiens and Cx. pipiens f. molestus), Cx. hortensis, Cx. territans, Culiseta annulata and Ochlerotatus geniculatus (Zittra et al. 2017b; Strouhal and Vornatscher 1975). Uranotaenia unguiculata, a potential vector of the West Nile virus (Rudolf et al. 2015), was not retrieved in this study, although the species is present in Austria and able to hibernate in caves.

Mosquitoes usually start entering hibernacula in early autumn, but our results demonstrate that natural and man-made subterranean shelters are also used as resting places during most of the year. The source of the supposedly underground-adapted biotype molestus remains to be clarified. Our data in combination with previously published results (Zittra et al. 2017a) indicate that caves are neither overly significant for its occurrence, nor serve as hotspots of hybridization. Therefore, we propose that this biotype naturally occurs in low abundance in Eastern Austria. However, population genetics should be conducted to assess whether pipiens × molestus hybrids contribute to overall population dynamics of the pipiens complex, and to elucidate the population structure within the pipiens complex.

Three mosquito species rated as rare, viz. Cx. torrentium, Cx. hortensis and Cx. territans, were collected during this study. Individual numbers of the latter two species are too low to detect any correlation with overground abundance. The three species are generally hard to come by. A common problem in mosquito ecology is under-estimation of certain species when carbon dioxide traps are used (Beck et al. 2003; Zittra et al. 2017a). It seems that mainly non-mammalophilic species are underrepresented in surveillance studies due to the low attractiveness of these standard traps (Zittra et al. 2017a). The high numbers of Cx. torrentium in the caves are therefore quite unusual as this species is typically collected in much lower proportions (Zittra et al. 2016). We assume that these relative high abundances in caves might be due to a species-specific preference for resting and hibernating in subterranean shelters. Indeed, several species of the genera Culex, Culiseta, Anopheles and Uranotaenia are known to use caves as places for hibernation or as resting sites (Trájer et al. 2018). On the other hand, we collected low numbers of Cx. territans and Cx. hortensis, both likely non-mammalophilic, that are also described as using dark and cool places as daytime resting sites. Generally, little is known about these taxa as they are rarely collected (Zittra and Waringer 2015; Zittra et al. 2016, 2017b). Sophisticated trapping devices might be necessary to capture and investigate such rarely collected, yet not necessarily rare species (Camp et al. 2018). The species-rich genera Aedes and Ochlerotatus mainly hibernate in their immature stages (Becker et al. 2010) and were therefore, as expected, not recorded in this study. The absence of Uranotaenia species at the studied sites possibly relates to their limited distribution in Burgenland, near Lake Neusiedl (Lebl et al. 2014; Camp et al. 2018), while there are only single records in other federal states (Lebl et al. 2015; Zittra et al. 2017).

Since tourism and modern leisure behaviour make cave visits increasingly popular, pathogens transmitted by cave-associated mosquitoes have become a topic of research, especially in tropical regions (Obame-Nkoghe et al. 2017b; Wiwanitkit 2018). In Austria, 33 out of 16,000 surveyed caves run as show caves (Oedl and Spötl 2016), but many more subterranean sites are well-frequented local attractions without regular guiding service. In Central European caves, the hazard of a mosquito-borne infection is small, as culicids are using caves mainly for resting or hibernation. Reports on mosquito attacks in caves are rare. This is in contrast to subways and similar subterranean habitats in cities (Byrne and Nichols 1999) where the environment does not fully comply with cave conditions.

Our results corroborate the importance of natural and man-made underground cavities as hibernation sites for Culex species and demonstrate the significance of such habitats as resting places. Subterranean shelters house a more diverse mosquito assemblage than previously inferred from literature data. We found that the composition of underground assemblages of the Culex pipiens complex reflects the composition in overground habitats, without proportional increase of Cx. pipiens f. molestus in the caves. The high proportions of Cx. torrentium are surprising but can be related to the ecology of the species. Further rare species in our material additionally suggest the inclusion of caves in mosquito surveillance programs.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are thankful to Bita Shahi Barogh for her indispensable support in the laboratory. The authors thank Ulla Brandstätter, Melitta Christian, Petra Christian, Karl Mitterer, Alexander Mrkvicka, Alexander Reischütz, Erich Schneider and Michaela Zemanek for their strong support in capturing the mosquitoes.

Data accessibility

DNA sequences: GenBank accession numbers MH807264–MH807266.

Author contributions

CZ performed the morphological and molecular identification of the mosquitoes and compiled the manuscript, OM and EC performed the mosquito sampling and facilitated the access to the subterranean sampling sites. CZ, CE and OM designed the study. OM assisted in the morphological identification. HPF performed the sequence analysis and the molecular work. All authors read and improved the manuscript.

Funding information

Open access funding provided by University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna. Financial support was partly provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research via an ABOL (Austrian barcode of Life; www.abol.ac.at) associated project within the framework of the ‘Hochschulraum-Strukturmittel’ Funds.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Andreadis TG, Armstrong PM, Bajwa WI (2010) Studies on hibernating populations of Culex pipiens from a West Nile virus endemic focus in New York City: parity rates and isolation of West Nile virus. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 26(3):257–264.  https://doi.org/10.2987/10-6004.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bahnck CM, Fonseca DM (2006) Rapid assay to identify the two genetic forms of Culex (Culex) pipiens L. (Diptera: Culicidae) and hybrid populations. Am J Trop Med Hyg 75(2):251–255.  https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.2006.75.2.0750251 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beck M, Galm M, Weitzel T, Fohlmeister V, Kaiser A, Arnold A, Becker N (2003) Preliminary studies in the mosquito fauna of Luxembourg. Eur Mosq Bull 14:21–24Google Scholar
  4. Becker N, Petrić D, Zgomba M, Boase C, Madon M, Dahl C, Kaiser A (2010) Mosquitoes and their control. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker N, Jöst H, Ziegler U, Eiden M, Höper D, Emmerich P, Fichet-Calvet E, Ehichioya DU, Czajka C, Gabriel M (2012) Epizootic emergence of Usutu virus in wild and captive birds in Germany. PLoS One 7:e32604.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0032604 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brugman VA, Hernández-Triana LM, Medlock JM, Fooks AR, Carpenter S, Johnson N (2018) The role of Culex pipiens L. (Diptera: Culicidae) in virus transmission in Europe. Int J Environ Res Public Health 15:389.  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020389 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Byrne K, Nichols RA (1999) Culex pipiens in London underground tunnels: differentiation between surface and subterranean populations. Heredity 82(1):7–15.  https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.hdy.6884120 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Camp JV, Bakonyi T, Soltész Z, Zechmeister T, Nowotny N (2018) Uranotaenia unguiculata Edwards, 1913 are attracted to sound, feed on amphibians, and are infected with multiple viruses. Parasit Vectors 11(1):456.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-3030-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carvalho G, Brazil RP, Rêgo FD, Ramos M, Zenóbio A, Filho JD (2016) Molecular detection of Leishmania DNA in wild-caught phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) from a cave in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. J Med Entomol 54(1):196–203.  https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjw137 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Černý O, Votýpka J, Svobodová M (2011) Spatial feeding preferences of ornithophilic mosquitoes, blackflies and biting midges. J Med Entomol 25(1):104–108.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2915.2010.00875.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diniz DFA, de Albuquerque CMR, Oliva LO, de Melo-Santos MAV, Ayres CFJ (2017) Diapause and quiescence: dormancy mechanisms that contribute to the geographical expansion of mosquitoes and their evolutionary success. Parasit Vectors 10:310.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2235-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dobat K (1975) Die Höhlenfauna der Schwäbischen Alb. Abhandlungen zur Karst- und Höhlenkunde, Reihe D, 2: 260–381Google Scholar
  13. Dobat K (1978) Die Höhlenfauna der Fränkischen Alb. Abhandlungen zur Karst- und Höhlenkunde, Reihe D, 3: 1–238Google Scholar
  14. Dvořák L (2014) Invertebrates found in underground shelters of western Bohemia. I. Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). J Eur Mosq Control Assoc 32:27–32Google Scholar
  15. Farajollahi A, Fonseca DM, Kramer LD, Kilpatrick AM (2011) “Bird biting” mosquitoes and human disease: a review of the role of Culex pipiens complex mosquitoes in epidemiology. Infect Genet Evol 11(7):1577–1585.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2011.08.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fritsch G (1992) Räumliche und zeitliche Verteilungsmuster der Wandfauna der Güntherhöhle Hundsheimer Berg / Niederösterreich. Master thesis, University of Vienna, 60 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Fros JJ, Vogels CB, Gaibani P, Sambri V, Martina BE, Koenraadt CJ, van Rij RP, Vlak JM, Takken W, Pijlman GP (2015) Comparative Usutu and West Nile virus transmission potential by local Culex pipiens mosquitoes in North-Western Europe. One Health 2015:31–36.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2015.08.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hamer GL, Kitron UD, Brawn JD, Loss SR, Ruiz MO, Goldberg TL, Walker ED (2008) Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae): a bridge vector of West Nile virus to humans. J Med Entomol 45(1):125–128. https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-2585(2008)45[125:cpdcab]2.0.co;2Google Scholar
  19. Jaenson TG (1987) Overwintering of Culex mosquitoes in Sweden and their potential as reservoirs of human pathogens. Med Vet Entomol 1(2):151–156.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2915.1987.tb00336.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kjaerandsen J (1993) Diptera in mines and other cave systems in southern Norway. Entomol Fenn 4:151–l60Google Scholar
  21. Lebl K, Zittra C, Silbermayr K, Obwaller A, Berer D, Brugger K, Walter M, Pinior B, Fuehrer HP, Rubel F (2014) Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) and their relevance as disease vectors in the city of Vienna, Austria. Parasitol Res 114(2):707–713.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-014-4237-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lundström JO, Turell M, Niklasson B (1990) Effect of environmental temperature on the vector competence of Culexp pipiens and Cx. torrentium for Ockelbo virus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 43(5):534–542.  https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.1990.43.534 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Moravčík P (1976) Ročná dynamika niektorých čeľadí Dipter (Culicidae, Heleomyzidae) vo vybraných jaskyniach Liptova [Year dynamics of some dipteran families (Culicidae, Heleomyzidae) in selected caves of the Lipton region]. Unpubl. diploma thesis (Faculty of Biology, Komenius University, Bratislava), 60 pp., Appendix 21 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Norris DE (2004) Mosquito-borne diseases as a consequence of land use change. Ecohealth 1:19–24.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-004-0008-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Obame-Nkoghe J, Leroy E, Paupy C (2017a) Diversity and role of cave-dwelling hematophagous insects in pathogen transmission in the Afrotropical region. Emerg Microbes Infect 6(4):1–6.  https://doi.org/10.1038/emi.2017.6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Obame-Nkoghe J, Rahola N, Ayala D, Yangari P, Jiolle D, Allene X, Bourgarel M, Maganga GD, Berthet N, Leroy EM, Paupy C (2017b) Exploring the diversity of blood-sucking Diptera in caves of Central Africa. Sci Rep 7(1):250.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00328-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Oedl F, Spötl C (2016) Schauhöhlen. In Spötl C, Plan L, Christian E (eds.): Höhlen und Karst in Österreich. Linz, Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, 367–376Google Scholar
  28. Roiz D, Vazquez A, Rosà R, Muñoz J, Arnoldi D, Rosso F, Figuerola J, Tenorio A, Rizzoli A (2012) Blood meal analysis, flavivirus screening, and influence of meteorological variables on the dynamics of potential mosquito vectors of West Nile virus in northern Italy. J Vector Ecol 37(1):20–28.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1948-7134.2012.00196.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rudolf I, Šebesta O, Straková P, Betášová L, Blažejová H, Venclíková K et al (2015) Overwintering of Uranotaenia unguiculata adult females in Central Europe: a possible way of persistence of the putative new lineage of West Nile virus? J Am Mosq Control Assoc 31(4):364–365.  https://doi.org/10.2987/8756-971x-31.4.364 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rudolf I, Betášová L, Blažejová H, Venclíková K, Straková P, Šebesta O, Mendel J, Bakonyi T, Schaffner F, Nowotny N, Hubálek Z (2017) West Nile virus in overwintering mosquitoes, Central Europe. Parasit Vectors 10:452.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2399-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schoener E, Uebleis SS, Butter J, Nawratil M, Cuk C, Flechl E et al (2017) Avian Plasmodium in eastern Austrian mosquitoes. Malar J 16(1):389.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-017-2035-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Smith JL, Fonseca DM (2004) Rapid assays for identification of members of the Culex (Culex) pipiens complex, their hybrids, and other sibling species (Diptera: Culicidae). The Am J Trop Med Hyg 70(4):339–345.  https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.2004.70.339 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Strouhal H, Vornatscher J (1975) Katalog der rezenten Höhlentiere Österreichs. Ann Naturhist Mus Wien 79:401–542Google Scholar
  34. Trájer A, Schoffhauzer J, Padisák J (2018) Diversity, seasonal abundance and potential vector status of the cave-dwelling mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Bakony-Balaton region. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica 70(2):247–258Google Scholar
  35. Übleis SS, Cuk C, Nawratil M, Butter J, Schoener E, Obwaller AG et al (2018) Xenomonitoring of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) for the presence of filarioid helminths in eastern Austria. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol 2018:1–6.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9754695 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vogels CB, Fros JJ, Göertz GP, Pijlman GP, Koenraadt CJ (2016) Vector competence of northern European Culex pipiens biotypes and hybrids for West Nile virus is differentially affected by temperature. Parasit Vectors 9(1):393.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1677-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Weber D (1989) Die Höhlenfauna und –flora des Höhlenkatastergebietes Rheinland-Pfalz/Saarland, 2. Teil. Abhandlungen zur Karst- und Höhlenkunde, 23. MünchenGoogle Scholar
  38. Weber D (1991) Die Evertebratenfauna der Höhlen und künstlichen Hohlräume des Katastergebietes Westfalen einschließlich der Quellen- und Grundwasserfauna. Abhandlungen zur Karst- und Höhlenkunde, 25. MünchenGoogle Scholar
  39. Weber D (1995) Die Höhlenfauna und –flora des Höhlenkatastergebietes Rheinland-Pfalz/Saarland, 3. Teil. Abhandlungen zur Karst- und Höhlenkunde, 29. MünchenGoogle Scholar
  40. Wiwanitkit V (2018) Cave associated infection: an issue in tropical medicine. J Health Sci Med Res 36(3):167–170.  https://doi.org/10.31584/jhsmr.2018.36.3.14 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wurzenberger J (1996) Die parietale Assoziation des Schelmenloches bei Baden /N.Ö. Master thesis, University of Vienna, 95 pp Google Scholar
  42. Zittra C, Flechl E, Kothmayer M, Vitecek S, Rossiter H, Zechmeister T, Fuehrer H (2016) Ecological characterization and molecular differentiation of Culex pipiens complex taxa and Culex torrentium in eastern Austria. Parasit Vectors 9(1):197.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1495-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zittra C, Vitecek S, Obwaller AG, Rossiter H, Eigner B, Zechmeister T et al (2017a) Landscape structure affects distribution of potential disease vectors (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasit Vectors 10(1):205.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2140-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zittra C, Lechthaler W, Mohrig W, Car M, (2017b) Diptera: Culicidae. In Moog O, Hartmann A (eds.): Fauna Aquatica Austriaca, 3. Edition. BMLFUW, ViennaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Parasitology, Department of PathobiologyUniversity of Veterinary Medicine ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem ManagementUniversity of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria
  3. 3.Institute of ZoologyUniversity of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations