The Mosquitoes (Culicidae) of Nottinghamshire
Culicidae (Mosquitoes) represent one of the most difficult of Dipterous Families to identify. So probably on that basis alone, they have been continuously neglected by a succession of naturalists.

Yet despite the problems with identification, anyone wishing to rise to the challenge would be presented with the opportunity of considerably improving our knowledge of Nottinghamshire's species and their current distribution within the county.

Any modern study of Mosquitoes taken up now, would certainly come at am interesting time, especially since the UK has recently seen an expected additionto the UK species list, in the form of the Asian Tiger Mosquito Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894) in 2016. More on this discovery can be found at

Mosquitoes and disease

There are currently believed to be a total of 36 species of Mosquito known from the UK. Many of these will bite and can become a nuisance when walking in rural locations, or enjoying time in the garden.


The arrival of Aedes albopictus to the UK had been expected, following its accidental introduction into Europe and subsequent range expansion north up into France. Originally native to eastern parts of Asia, India, Japan and parts of Australasia, over the past thirty or so years it spread to several Mediterranean countries, as well as parts of Africa, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and much of the United States.

Aedes albopictus is just one of several potentially hazardous Mosquitoes, likely to become established in the UK over the next few years, especially with the warming of our climate. Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus in Hasselquist, 1762) is another Mosquito, which has already been recorded from the UK on a few occasions, but has so far never been able to colonise. Both Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are known vectors of several tropical diseases. Vectors are organisms which although not being the cause of the disease itself, directly spread disease or infection from one host to another. Mosquitoes for example, are vectors for Malaria, Chikungunya disease, Dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, Yellow fever, West Nile fever, Sindbis fever and the Zika virus (Source:- the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control).

Nottinghamshire species

To the best of our knowledge, there are a total of 13 species of Mosquito known from (VC56) Nottinghamshire. The majority of UK species have at some time in the past, been subjected to various changes in nomenclature since J.W. Carr produced his book 'The Invertebrate Fauna of Nottinghamshire. Nottingham: J.& H. Bell Ltd (1916)'. It is considered highly likely, that many will get changed again in the near future.

Species shown with a red asterisk* are known from historical records only, having produced no post-1960 county records.

AEDES Meigen 1818
Aedes annulipes (Meigen, 1830) ... Recorded from Fiskerton in May 1944. There are a series of records from the 1970's, which include records from Attenborough NR in both July and August 1971 (White, O.M.) and again from Attenborough NR in July 1973 (White, O.M.).

Aedes cantans (Meigen, 1818) *... Listed in Carr as Ochlerotatus maculatus, with listed records from Aspley Woods near Nottingham in June and July 1912 and Sherwood Forest near Ollerton in June 1914 and Misson in September 1914. There are a number of other (now) historical records for the county, all of which date to after the publication of Carr's book. These include records from the Gotham/Thrumpton area (given as SK53) in 1924, then from Owthorpe, Fiskerton cum Morton and Langford in 1944 and finally Gotham in July 1955.

Aedes communis (De Geer, 1776) * ... Listed in Carr as Ochlerotatus nemorosus. This Mosquito is only known from the UK, on the basis of two Nottinghamshire records. Females were recorded from South Leverton in January and February 1898 (Thornley) and from Oldmoor Wood, Strelley in September 1922.

Aedes geniculatus (Olivier, 1791) * ... The only Nottinghamshire records we can trace are from Wollaton Park in May 1944 and two records from Colwick Woods in August 1949 (White, O.M.).

Aedes leucomelas (Meigen, 1804) * ... Recorded from Widmerpool in 1919, which is the UK's only record.

Aedes rusticus (Rossi, 1790) * ... In Carr this Mosquito is listed as Ochlerotatus diversus and he gives just a single record from Aspley Woods in May 1912. The same record is also listed on the NBN Atlas, which also includes a number of other records dating after the publication of Carr's book. It seems that there was an additional record from Aspley in July 1917 and one from Widmerpool in 1919 (both Edwards, F.W.). Other Nottinghamshire records appear to be on two date (just four days apart) at Fiskerton cum Morton in May 1944 (White, K.M.) and most recently, from Wellow Park in June 2018 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.).

ANOPHELES Meigen, 1818
Anopheles atroparvus (van Thiel, 1927) * ... Listed in Carr as Anopheles maculipennis. There are records of females from South Leverton in 1898 and again in 1901 (Thornley), with a further record on the NBN Atlas from Beeston dating to 1920 (Robinson, F.M.).

Anopheles claviger (Meigen, 1804) ... Represented in Nottinghamshire by two records from Clumber Park (Knight, L.) in 2002.

CULEX Linnaeus, 1758
Culex pipiens sens lato (Linnaeus, 1758) ... Often known as the Common House Mosquito, Culex pipiens exists in two forms - the typical Culex pipiens and Culex pipiens f.molestus (Forskål, 1775). Both are structurally identical. This is often the commonest Mosquito found in urban areas. The males feed on nectar but the females take blood, although it is only the molestus form which bites humans.

Carr lists several instances, but most records are rather vague and of little use other than to give us some idea of distribution over a century ago. In his account for C. pipiens, he includes an undated record from South Leverton (where it was abundant) and lists a record from Mapperley in March 1912. He states it to be 'common' at Sherwood Forest and females abundant at Sherwood, Nottingham between March and the end of May 1915. There are recent records from Market Warsop in October and November 2018 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.).

Culex torrentium (Martini, 1925) ... We are aware of a post-2000 record from Attenborough NR, but have no details of the recorder or a more accurate date of occurrence.

CULISETA Felt 1904
Culiseta annulata (Schrank, 1776) * ... Listed in Carr as Theobaldia annulatus, where he lists records of females from South Leverton in January and March 1898 (Thornley) from Park Drain at Misson in the north of the county, where it was described as 'common' (Thornley and Carr). There are recent records from Edwinstowe and Market Warsop from October and November 2018.

Culiseta fumipennis (Stephens, 1825) * ... Listed as Theobaldia fumipennis in Carr's book. Just one record is given, from Sherwood Forest near Ollerton in July 1912 (L.A. Carr).

Culiseta morsitans (Theobald, 1901)  ... Recorded from Budby South Forest as a larva in April 2021 (Pendleton, T.A.) and subsequently reared in captivity through to adult. Believed to be the first record for VC56 Nottinghamshire.