Aedes albopictus (= Stegomyia albopicta) (Skuse) (Diptera Culicidae) is an invasive mosquito species originating from the tropical and subtropical areas of South and East Asia. Since a couple of decades it has spread all over the world colonizing all continents.
To uncover the routes of entry, genetic studies analysing the phylogenetic relationship of recently established and natural Ae. albopictus populations are of vital importance. Here we analysed the sequence variation in the mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 (COI) and the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5) genes from specimens collected in Palestine in order to gain insights on genetic relation to other populations and variances within our population. The results showed the existence of three haplotypes for COI and ND5 genes, with a central haplotype for COI and ND5 genes and very little haplotype diversity within haplotype networks (0.186 for COI and 0.417 for ND5). The neutrality tests showed a negative value, indicating deviations from neutrality and suggesting recent population expansion. We were able to group our sequences from Palestine with COI and ND5 sequences from tropical, sub-tropical and temperate areas. In conclusion, the low genetic diversity hinds to either a recent introduction or a strong genetic selection toward a specific haplotype by other factors.