The mosquitoes of Armenia: review of knowledge and results of a field survey with first report of Aedes albopictus.
Background: In 2016, a field study was implemented in all Armenian provinces in order to update knowledge on the presence and distribution of both native and invasive mosquito species. Larvae and adult mosquitoes were sampled and identified on the basis of their morphology. Supplementary field surveys were performed in 2017-2018. Results: Between June 20 and July 12, 2016, 117 localities were visited. A total number of 197 sampling units were checked, of which 143 (73%) were positive for mosquitoes (with 1-6 species per sampling unit). A total number of 4157 mosquito specimens were identified to species or species complex level. Ten species represent first records for Armenia: Aedes albopictus, Ae. annulipes, Ae. cataphylla, Ae. cinereus/geminus (probably Ae. cinereus), Ae. flavescens, Anopheles plumbeus, Coquillettidia richiardii, Culex martinii, Cx. torrentium and Culiseta subochrea. The invasive species Ae. albopictus was recorded in a single locality (Bagratashen) at the border point with Georgia, along the main road Tbilisi-Yerevan. This species was further recorded in 2017 and 2018, demonstrating its establishment and spread in north Armenia. These surveys confirm the presence of vectors of malaria parasites (in particular An. sacharovi) and West Nile virus (Cx. pipiens). Conclusion: The knowledge of the Armenian mosquito fauna is extended to a list of 28 species. The record of Aedes albopictus, an important potential vector of many arboviruses, has important implications for public health.