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 Post subject: Insect: Mosquito
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:30 am 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Mosquito, the name is Spanish for little fly.

There are 3000 different kinds of mosquitoes and a worldwide population of 100 trillion!!
Most are in tropical climates, but there are mosquitoes in arctic and desert regions.

General
They can fly up to 10 mph, dart between raindrops and even fly backwards. Most live and die close to where they hatch, but some are strong flyers that travel many miles in search of a victim.
Only female mosquitoes bite. They require a blood meal in order to develop eggs to make more mosquitoes. Most female mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Stagnant ponds, ditches and fresh or salt water wetlands are favorites, but even a few tablespoons of water in a flower pot or old auto tire will do.
Depending on species, female mosquitoes may lay 100 to 300 eggs at a time and may average 1,000 to 3,000 during their lifespan.
The eggs hatch, become swimming larvae, then pupae and finally flying adults.
Depending on temperature, mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in as little as 4-7 days.
Mosquito larvae are an important source of food for certain fish, birds, bats and other animals. Goldfish and fresh water minnows (Gambusia affinis) will both eat mosquito larvae.

Why mosquitoes bite us and why we shouldn't let them.
In their quest for blood, mosquitoes may bite birds, frogs, snakes, and mammals, including people. Some, called peridomestic mosquitoes actually live and breed around homes just to be near us.
24 hours or so after hatching, a female mosquito flies off in search of a meal. She homes in on body warmth, odor, moisture and the carbon dioxide we exhale. When she bites, the mosquito injects a bit of saliva that slows coagulation so blood flows freely. It's your body's allergic reaction to the saliva that caused the welt and itching sensation.
Mosquitoes can also transmit canine heartworm, which is fatal to dogs once contracted. For protection, pet owners can purchase a preventative medicine from their veterinarian.
The average life span of the female mosquito is 3 to 100 days; the male's is 10 to 20 days.

What's being done about Mosquitoes and what you can do.
Whenever possible, government health authorities control large tracts of mosquito breeding land by larviciding. They use low toxicity biopesticides like B.t.i. (Bacillius thuringiensis subspecies israelensis), a live bacteria that's deadly to mosquito larvae, harmless to other living things.
The mosquito that bit you last night may have hatched in the birdbath right in your own back yard. At home or with school or community groups, you can effectively reduce mosquito problems using common sense and environmentally-conscious methods.
Use low toxicity insecticides and avoid highly poisonous sprays indoors and out. Natural pyrethrin sprays, made from chrysanthemums, are helpful in clearing rooms.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 5:02 pm 
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Quote:
The mosquito life cycle consists of four stages (instars).


An instar is not the phase between egg, larva pupae and adult.
The instar is found inside a phase for example when there is a change in the larvae after each ecdysis. (when the larvae looks different from before and also sometimes change habitat and feeding habits)
It is also more likely to be found with an incomplete or simple life cycles for example the praying mantid where the larval stage undergoes 12 to 14 instars before it becomes an adult. Another good example will be the Three host ticks species where the first instar has six legs followed by a eight legged instar. There are no instars in Mosquitoes, interesting though is that the pupae is also aquatic and is also able to swim.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:26 am 
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On the gamefarm we put fish - Kurpers - in all the dams and waterholes . They are growing fast and the mosquitoes are almost absent .


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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 7:23 am 
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mikev wrote:
On the gamefarm we put fish - Kurpers - in all the dams and waterholes . They are growing fast and the mosquitoes are almost absent .


:roll:

Mike, can you spare me a couple for my swimming pool and bird bath?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:12 am 
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wildtuinman wrote:
Mike, can you spare me a couple for my swimming pool and bird bath?

Maybe you should just clean your swimming pool and bird bath regularly :twisted:

One of the municipal dams in Stellenbosch also stock Tilapia to control the mosquito larvae

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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:18 pm 
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Mosquito spread several diseases, not just malaria as some think. And although malaria speading ones are not active during the day - others are. So take suitable precautions at all times, especially during the summer and autumn months.

West nile fever is a spreading problem worldwide (not sure of its status in the Kruger) - although often mild can produce a fatal encephalitis. Fortunately yellow fever is not found in South Africa, though there appear to be some reports of dengue fever.

DEET sprays are best. Will also help prevent tick bites if you go for a game walk in summer when you will be walking through long grass.

Richard


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