Palaearctic species is distributed throughout Europe, from Scandinavia
to North Africa and with an eastward extension through the Middle
East, China and Central Siberia (Mohrig 1969, Cranston et al. 1987,
Schaffner et al. 2001, Becker et al. 2003).
stages are primarily found in clear, cold and shady stagnant or
slowly flowing, temporary or permanent waters; the breeding sites
include ditches, pools, river banks, ponds, garden tanks and rain
barrels, in clean, dirty or brackish water (Trpiš 1962, Mohrig
1969, Briegel 1973, Rettich et al. 1978, Cranston et al. 1987, Becker
et al. 2003). Due to temperature requirements, larval sites, especially
in summer, tend to be heavily shaded with emergent or overhanging
vegetation (Cranston et al. 1987). At the southern extremities of
its range, in southern Europe and the Middle East, the larvae are
rarely found in waters exceeding 20°C and optimum temperatures
are considerably lower (Coluzzi 1962, Postiglione et al. 1973).
In these regions larvae have been recorded in springs, brooks and
cisterns (Schaffner et al. 2001).
in perennial waters A. claviger shows two (sometimes three)
generations per year (Mohrig 1969, Schaffner et al. 2001). According
to Becker et al. (2003) females deposit their eggs above the water
level into the wet soil. First larval instars appear in spring (April)
and due to aquatic conditions larvae may be present throughout the
year or disappear when the breeding sites dry-up (Trpiš 1962,
Briegel 1973, Rettich et al. 1978, Cranston et al. 1987). A.
claviger overwinters exclusively in the larval stage (Mohrig
1969, Briegel 1973, Cranston et al. 1987, Becker et al. 2003). According
to Schaffner et al. (2001) larvae are able to survive under ice.
emerge in early spring (Becker et al. 2003), May or June and are
present till late summer or autumn (Trpiš 1962, Mohrig 1969,
Rettich et al. 1978, Schaffner et al. 2001). Females feed on a variety
of mammals, including humans and are active especially at dusk (Mohrig
1969, Service 1971a, Rettich 1978). They tend to seek the warmth
of buildings, particularly animal shelters, early in the year, but
rest outdoors when conditions are more clement; biting densities
are highest between May and September (Cranston et al. 1987).