Giant mosquitoes flourish in floodwaters that hurricanes leave behind

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According to (This article and its images were originally posted on Science + Technology – The Conversation October 11, 2018 at 06:48AM.)

After Hurricane Florence, reports started rolling in of “giant mosquito” sightings – and bitings – throughout North Carolina. What’s going on with these mega mosquitoes that can be as big as a quarter?

As a mosquito biologist, I often get asked to identify a mosquito based upon someone’s verbal report of the little buggers. I usually do OK with an educated guess based on descriptions like “It had striped legs, and was brown” or “It looked kind of purple.”

What I have always struggled with is when someone says “It was little” or “It was pretty big.” For the most part, size is not a good identifying feature of the common mosquitoes Americans encounter close to home.

This is because you can grow relatively large mosquitoes or small ones just depending on the conditions where they grow up – what entomologists call their larval environment. If the larval environment has few other competing mosquitoes, or is rich in nutrients, or has a cool temperature, the result is larger adult mosquitoes.

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This article and images were originally posted on [Science + Technology – The Conversation] October 11, 2018 at 06:48AM. Credit to the original author and Science + Technology – The Conversation | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day.

 

 

 

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