Eight new mosquito species discovered in Bhutan

Eight new species of mosquitoes have been discovered by the Vector-borne Disease Control Programme in the country. The new species were detected while carrying out surveillance and monitoring of mosquitoes for the malaria elimination programme. The programme confirmed the new species through genetic analysis.

After four years of research and surveillance, the Vector-borne Disease Control Programme (VDCP), based in Gelephu, has detected eight new species of mosquitoes in Bhutan.

These they say, are new species that have been added to the Mosquito Taxonomic Inventory, which records new species of mosquitoes around the world.

“So far, we have discovered eight new mosquito species belonging to three genera. Anopheles, we discovered around four new species, then culex, we discovered around two new species and Aedes, two new species that have not been discovered, so far in the world,” said Rinzin Namgay, the Chief Entomologist of the vector-borne Disease Control Programme.

Four new discoveries of mosquitoes belonging to the Anopheles Genus are Anopheles thimphuensis, Anopheles bhutanensis, Anopheles druki and Anopheles himalayensis.

Two new discoveries belonging to Culex Genus are Culex bhutanensis and Culex longitubus. Another two new species belonging to Aedes Genus are Aedes (Hul.) bhutanensis and Uranotaenia bhutanensis. He added that their new names have been coined from their last name and species name.

The chief entomologist said that the findings cannot indicate the dangers of the new species because their biting preferences and behaviours have to be monitored.

Furthermore, the findings cannot say, for now, whether these new species are related to global warming.

The Vector-borne Disease Control Programme has recorded 132 species of mosquitoes in Bhutan so far.

Tashi Yangden

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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