Mosquitoes are a family of small, midge-like flies: the Culicidae. Although a few species are harmless or even useful to humanity, the females of most species are ectoparasites whose tube-like mouthparts pierce the hosts’ skin to suck the blood. Thousands of species feed on the blood of various kinds of hosts, mainly vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even some kinds of fish. Some mosquitoes also attack invertebrates, mainly arthropods. Though the loss of blood seldom is of much importance to the victim, the saliva of the mosquito often causes an irritating rash that constitutes a serious nuisance. Much more serious though, are the roles of many species of mosquitoes as vectors of diseases. In passing from host to host, some of them transmit extremely harmful infections such as malaria, yellow fever, and filariasis.
Experimental genetic methods including cytoplasmic incompatibility, chromosomal translocations, sex distortion and gene replacement have been explored. They are cheaper and not subject to vector resistance. Larvae of the non-biting Toxorhynchites mosquitoes also are natural predators of other Culicidae. Each larva can eat 10 to 20 mosquito larvae per day. During its entire development, a Toxorhynchites larva can consume an equivalent of 5,000 larvae of the first-instar (L1) or 300 fourth-instar larvae (L4). However, Toxorhynchites can consume all types of prey, organic debris, or even exhibit cannibalistic behavior.
Mosquitoes in Georgia
The world’s deadliest animal is unmistakable… It’s the common mosquito. Most discount this deadly killer due to it’s rather small size but make no mistake, its ability to spread disease is uncanny. While it’s true the initial damage inflicted by it’s bite is more of a nuisance, the true dangers of the species are found in it’s ability to circumvent the immune system with a direct blood transfusion. They are also a major health issue for dogs, cats, horses and livestock. I’m pretty sure everyone with a family dog is familiar with heart worms but that folks, is just the tip of the deadly iceberg.