Citizen science and smartphone e-entomology enables low-cost upscaling of mosquito surveillance

Larissa Braz Sousa, Stephen R. Fricker, Seamus S. Doherty, Cameron E. Webb, Katherine L. Baldock, Craig Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Mosquito surveillance remains a cornerstone of pest and disease control operations globally but is strongly limited in scale by resources. The use of citizen science to upscale scientific data collection is commonplace, and mosquito surveillance programs have begun to make use of citizen scientists in several countries, particularly for exotic species detection. Here we report on a proof of concept trial in southern Australia for a citizen science mosquito surveillance program characterised by fixed point trapping with BG GAT devices and remote mosquito identification through emailed images, which we term ‘e-entomology’. In a study with 126 participants, we detected mosquito seasonality with peak abundance in mid-summer (1.78 mosquitoes per trap per day), weather correlations (positive correlation with maximum temperature, r = 0.41) and a diversity of species (15 of 22 known species in the region) in a metropolitan setting. Whilst we demonstrated that the costs of a citizen science program is only about 20% of a comparable professional surveillance program, the mosquito community sampled by citizen scientists was biased towards container-inhabiting species, particularly Aedes notoscriptus. This is the first time fixed-point mosquito trapping has been combined with citizen science e-entomology to deliver comprehensive surveillance of urban mosquitoes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135349
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume704
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Australia
  • Community
  • Costing
  • Public health
  • Species diversity
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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