In French Polynesia where Ae. aegypti is scarce or not present, Chikungunya is thought to be vectored by endemic Aedes species including Aedes (Stegomyia) polynesiensis.  It is only found in the South Pacific including the Fiji and Cook Islands[1].  Full geographical distribution can be found here. It is probable that it settled in the Polynesian Islands along with human migrants from West to East Pacific approximately 1500-3000 years ago[2]. The mosquito is an important vector in this region for Dengue, Ross River and Chikungunya viruses as well as Bancroftian lymphatic filariasis[3].  Gravid females oviposit in crab holes, coconut shells and tree holes and the larvae are capable of developing in brackish water resulting in the species being a widespread vector throughout the South Pacific Archipelago[4,5].


  1. Richard V, Paoaafaite T, Cao-Lormeau VM. Vector competence of Aedes aegypti and Aedes polynesiensis populations from French Polynesia for chikungunya virus. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2016 May 4;10(5):e0004694.

  2. Brelsfoard CL, Dobson SL. Population genetic structure of Aedes polynesiensis in the Society Islands of French Polynesia: implications for control using a Wolbachia-based autocidal strategy. Parasites & vectors. 2012 Dec;5(1):80.

  3. Samarawickrema WA, Sone F, Cummings RF. Natural infections of Wuchereria bancrofti in Aedes (Stegomyia) polynesiensis and Aedes (Finlaya) samoanus in Samoa. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1987 Jan 1;81(1):124-8.

  4. Young EC. Mosquitoes of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: A survey of breeding sites. New Zealand Journal of Zoology. 2007 Jan 1;34(1):57-61.

  5. Samarawickrema WA, SONE F, Kimura E, Self LS, Cummings RF, Paulson GS. The relative importance and distribution of Aedes polynesiensis and Ae. aegypti larval habitats in Samoa. Medical and veterinary entomology. 1993 Jan;7(1):27-36.