Practical information to identify and manage non-native, invasive plants and animals
The Quiet Invasion:
A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area
Asian tiger mosquito
Aedes albopictus

ITIS TSN:126244
Presence:Current Invaders
Habitat:Aquatic; Terrestrial
Native Range:Southeast Asia
Human Health
The Asian tiger mosquito is associated with the transmission of viruses such as dengue, yellow fever, Eastern equine encephalitis, and West Nile virus (CDC 2005; Eritja et al. 2005; CDC 2009a).
Prohibited Lists
As of 2010, this species is not prohibited by the TPWD.
Introduction Pathways
The Asian tiger mosquito was first detected in the U.S. in 1985 in Houston, Texas. It is believed that the species arrived in the U.S. via shipments of tires from Japan.
Geographic Distribution
In the U.S., the Asian tiger mosquito is established in 26 states (CDC 2005). It is found in all five counties of the Lower Galveston Bay watershed (Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris and Liberty).
Specific Primary Habitats
Found in agricultural areas, coastland, forests, range/grasslands, scrub/shrub lands, urban areas, water courses, and wetlands. Aedes albopictus is a treehole mosquito in natural habitats, however in urban areas, the mosquitoes can be found in dense vegetation. Larvae can survive in small containers that hold rainwater such as flower pots, bird baths, and tires.
Ecological, Economic, or Social Impact
This mosquito bites humans, livestock, amphibians, reptiles and birds (Eritja et al. 2005). Biting rates of this species have been recorded at the level of 30 to 48 bites per hour (Cancrini et al. 2003). The species may be a matter of concern as an intermediate vector for the West Nile virus. West Nile virus has been detected in dead birds of at least 326 species (CDC 2009b). The virus-mosquito-bird transmission pathway has been documented as negatively impacting the populations of North American bird species, including the American crow, blue jay, American robin, chickadee, and Eastern bluebird (LaDeau et al. 2007).
Physical Description
The Asian tiger mosquito is so-named because of noticeable black and white stripes on its body. There is also a characteristic single white stripe down the length of the back. The body length is about 3/16 inches long. Like all mosquitoes, this species is a small, delicate insect with a narrow body, one pair of narrow wings and three pairs of long, slender legs. It has an elongated proboscis (a long, flexible snout) which the female uses to bite its victim and extract a blood meal (ISSG 2009a).
Reproduction Characteristics
Female Aedes albopictus lay their eggs above the surface of standing water in treeholes and water-holding containers; the eggs must be in water to hatch. 150 to 250 eggs are laid per ovipostion (egg-laying event) (ISSG 2009a). Each female can have 1 to 4 ovipositions. The active reproductive period occurs in the southwestern U.S. from late spring to early fall (Alto and Juliano 2001; Eritja et al. 2005). The eggs from populations colonizing temperate regions resist lower temperatures than those from tropical areas. Females may lay eggs that lie dormant until conditions are favorable for larval survival.
Aedes albopictus obtains energy by feeding on plant nectar. Females require blood to produce eggs. The species has four distinct life stages, which consist of egg, larva, pupa and adult. The first three stages occur in water. The adult is the free-flying insect that feeds on vertebrate animals (female mosquitoes only) and the nectar of plants.
Since early detection is key to preventing the spread and establishment of this species, regional/local monitoring or surveillance is essential. Extra care should be taken to empty outdoor containers of standing water. Homeowners should regularly exchange water in outdoor containers such as bird baths.

This species belongs to the following lists:
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Closeup of the adult Asian tiger mosquito (<i>A. albopictus</i>).  Photo courtesy Susan Ellis,
Closeup of the adult Asian tiger mosquito (A. albopictus).  Photo courtesy Susan Ellis,
Closeup of the adult Asian tiger mosquito (<i>A. albopictus</i>).  Photo courtesy Susan Ellis,
Closeup of the adult Asian tiger mosquito (A. albopictus).  Photo courtesy Susan Ellis,
Page Updated/Reviewed: 08/31/2010 11:20 AM