The floodwater mosquito Aedes vexans can be a massive nuisance in the flood plain areas of mainland Europe, and is the vector of Tahyna virus and a potential vector of Dirofilaria immitis. This epidemiologically important species forms three subspecies worldwide, of which Aedes vexans arabiensis has a wide distribution in Europe and Africa. We quantified the genetic and phenotypic variation in Ae. vexans arabiensis in populations from Sweden (northern Europe), Hungary, and Serbia (central Europe). A landscape genetics approach (FST, STRUCTURE, BAPS, GENELAND) revealed significant differentiation between northern and southern populations. Similar to genetic data, wing geometric morphometrics revealed two different clusters, one made by Swedish populations, while another included Hungarian and Serbian populations. Moreover, integrated genetic and morphometric data from the spatial analysis suggested groupings of populations into three clusters, one of which was from Swedish and Hungarian populations. Data on spatial analysis regarding an intermediate status of the Hungarian population was supported by observed Isolation-by-Distance patterns. Furthermore, a low proportion of interpopulation vs intrapopulation variance revealed by AMOVA and low-to-moderate FST values on a broader geographical scale indicate a continuous between-population exchange of individuals, including considerable gene flow on the regional scale, are likely to be responsible for the maintenance of the observed population similarity in Aе. vexans. We discussed data considering population structure in the light of vector control strategies of the mosquito from public health importance.
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Vol. 41 • No. 1