Uranotaenia unguiculata Edwards, 1913 are attracted to sound, feed on amphibians, and are infected with multiple viruses

Jeremy V. Camp*, Tamás Bakonyi, Zoltán Soltész, Thomas Zechmeister, Norbert Nowotny

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Uranotaenia unguiculata Edwards, 1913 is a species of mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) native to central Europe. Recently a novel lineage of the West Nile virus (WNV-lineage 4c) was identified in pools of adult female Ur. unguiculata. To increase the body of knowledge about this species, various trapping methods were evaluated to determine the most efficient method for capturing adult female Ur. unguiculata. Results: Sound traps collected equivalent numbers of female Ur. unguiculata as low-hanging light-baited downdraft traps. Hosts were identified as Pelophylax lessonae and P. ridibunda (Anura: Ranidae) species group frogs from the blood found in engorged females. In addition to confirming infection by WNV-lin. 4c, a potentially integrated flavivirus sequence was detected in male mosquitoes. A novel Alphamesonivirus 1 (Nidovirales: Mesoniviridae) was found to be widespread in the Ur. unguiculata population and is herein described. Conclusions: Efficient collection methods for Ur. unguiculata for arbovirus surveillance reflect mosquito questing behavior. Uranotaenia unguiculata targets frog species which call from the water, and it is likely that the novel WNV-lin. 4c is maintained in a frog-mosquito transmission cycle. The improved trapping methods listed here will assist future studies of the vector status of Ur. unguiculata for WNV and other arboviruses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number456
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 6 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alphamesonivirus
  • Ectothermic hosts
  • Mosquito ecology
  • Pelophylax
  • Sound attraction
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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