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Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)
Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). Photo: James Gathany, CDC

“The Tiger mosquito survives the German winter”. When reports of Asian tiger mosquitoes appear in July, it initially gives the impression of a typical summer hole story. But what is behind it? A study commissioned by the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases concluded that the habitat of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) will spread as far as southern and western Germany by 2040, even with a controlled rise in temperature, and in a more pessimistic scenario even as far as Sweden and Norway. So will the tropical diseases it transmits, such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya, become a serious reality in Germany in the future? After all, 100 years ago there were also extensive malaria regions in this country.

Dr. Doreen Werner, a biologist at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research in Müncheberg, talked about these and other questions with ZEIT ONLINE and explained how the spread of mosquito species is recorded throughout Germany and how every individual can contribute to the Mosquito Atlas, a citizen science project initiated by Dr. Werner. You can find the entire article here.