Skip to comments.UF Researcher: Mega mosquitoes set to invade Central Fla. (They're 20x 'regular' size)
Posted on 03/06/2013 6:52:38 AM PST by Stoat
Mega mosquitoes known as gallinippers could invade Central Florida this summer as flood waters from tropical storms force the larvae to hatch this hurricane season.
Entomologists at the University of Florida say the mosquitoes are 20 times the size of a typical mosquito, about the size of a quarter.
They also pack a painful bite, according to UF entomologist Phil Kaufman. He calls the species "notoriously aggressive."
The best way to protect against these super-sized mosquitoes is to wear bug spray with DEET and cover up as best as possible.
Gallinippers were spotted last year in Florida after Tropical Storm Debbie doused the state, but scientists predict they'll make an appearance again this summer.
According to Kaufman and his team one good thing about these mosquitoes is that they aren't known to carry any viruses that could be harmful to humans.
Still people who enjoy the outdoors are not looking forward to the insects.
"That kind of makes the summer not that exciting. I'm not looking forward to that anymore," said Stephanie McNatt.
It is the largest blood sucking mosquito in the U.S. Commonly referred to as the "Shaggy-legged" Gallinipper. It is easy to identify by its large size and it inflicts a painful bite. Rarely found in large numbers. The larvae are large and are predacious upon other larvae.
Larval habitat: Breeds in fields, temporary ground pools, and ditches.
Adult habitat: fields and yards
Biting activity: Anytime of the day when disturbed.
Flight range: 1-2 miles
"The entire basis of mosquito populations of this type are weather-driven, and so if we end up with a tropical hurricane, that's what drives it," University of Florida entomologist Philip Kaufman said.
The gallinippers tend to congregate in low-lying areas containing still water, such as cattle pastures, Kaufman explained. They lay their eggs in soil, and the eggs can lie dormant for years until heavy waters effectively help hatch them.
"Because of the events last year, and the eggs laid, we can expect large numbers of these mosquitoes again," Kaufman said, adding that it will take "something like a tropical storm" for them to populate.
The gallinippers don't pose much of a threat to urban areas.
"Down near Paynes Prairie, you are more likely to have more numbers than Main Street Gainesville," Kaufman said.
Are you sure they’re not drones?
At this point, very little coming from Zero’s “administration” would surprise me ;-)
So, how big is it, exactly. I went to the link and read the story here and the only thing I read about size is “20 times bigger”. That tells me little. Is it 20 times the mass? Is it 20 times the length? What?
Sounds like a good skeet shooting opportunity!
OH LAWDY ;-) I’m so happy that the Florida Department of Transportation is already on the case, erecting appropriate warning signs ;-)
Send in the Spim Brothers.
"The mosquito's a clever little bastard. You can track him for days and days until you really get to know him like a friend. He knows you're there, and you know he's there. It's a game of wits. You hate him, then you respect him, then you kill him."
"A lot of people ask us why we don't use fly spray.....Well, where's the sport in that?"
They mentioned they have striped legs and sand about an inch tall, slow, but hurt like hell. The consulation they said is that they are big enough that you can feel them land. I laughed.
Week later met some. They are at least one inch tall with legs that looks striped, like the one in the photos. they are real.
The comparative photo featured in the Gainesville Sun link suggest that they’re 20x larger in terms of body mass. You may wish to search specialized entomology sites for more information :-)
They’re around every year. Every story reported these days is the next big catastrophe! Geez! At least you can see these big boys before you swat them. It’s those small silent ones that you can’t see that eat you alive.
Obviously, Democrat mosquitoes.
They sound like New Jersey mosquitoes.
And I thought the mosquitoes in Minnesota were bad...
They look like a yellow jacket or wasp with a hypodermic needle.
Sign me up! ;-)
I feel better already! ;-)
Monty Python - Mosquito Hunters
(Big close-up Hank Spim (face only). He is obviously walking along, the camera is following him.)
Hank (Graham Chapman): Well, I’ve been a hunter all my life. I love animals. That’s why I like to kill ‘em. I wouldn’t kill an animal I didn’t like. Goodday Roy.
(Pull back to reveal he is walking with his brother in fairly rough country location. They pull a small trailer with ‘high explosives’ written in large letters on the side. The trailer has bombs in it. Hank takes a bazooka from the trailer.)
Voice Over (John Cleese): Hank and Roy Spim are tough, fearless backwoodsmen who have chosen to live in a violent, unrelenting world of nature’s creatures, where only the fittest survive. Today they are off to hunt mosquitoes.
(Big close-up Roy Spim. He is obviously searching for something.)
Roy (Eric Idle): (voice over) The mosquito’s a clever little bastard. You can track him for days and days until you really get to know him like a friend. He knows you’re there, and you know he’s there. It’s a game of wits. You hate him, then you respect him, then you kill him.
(Cut to Hank Spim who stands peering toward the horizon. Suddenly he points.)
Voice Over: Suddenly Hank spots the mosquito they’re after.
(Dramatic music. Crash zoom along Hank’s eyeline to as big a close-up as we can get of a patch in a perfectly ordinary field. Cut back to Hank and Roy starting to crawl towards some bushes.)
Voice Over: Now more than ever, they must rely on the skills they have learnt from a lifetime’s hunting. (tense music, as they worm their way forward) Hank gauges the wind. (shot of Hank doing complicated wind gauging biz.) Roy examines the mosquito’s spoor. (shot of Roy examining the ground intently) Then... (Roy fires a bazooka. Hank fires off a machine gun; a series of almighty explosions in the small patch of field; the gunfire stops and the smoke begins to clear) It’s a success. The mosquito now is dead. (Hank and Roy approach the scorched and blackened patch in the field) But Roy must make sure. (Roy points machine gun at head of mosquito and fires off another few rounds)
Roy: There’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded mosquito.
Voice Over: But the hunt is not over. With well practiced skill Hank skins the mosquito. (Hank produces an enormous curved knife and begins to start skinning the tiny mosquito) The wings of a fully grown male mosquito can in fact fetch anything up to point eight of a penny on the open market. (shot of them walking, carrying weapons) The long day is over and it’s back to base camp for a nights rest. (inside villa; Hank is cleaning bazooka) Here, surrounded by their trophies Roy and Hank prepare for a much tougher ordeal - a moth hunt.
Hank: Well, I follow the moth in the helicopter to lure it away from the flowers, and then Roy comes along in the Lockheed Starfighter and attacks it with air-to-air missiles.
Roy: A lot of people have asked us why we don’t use fly spray. Well, where’s the sport in that?
(Shot of them driving in Land Rover heavily loaded with weapons.)
Voice Over: For Roy, sport is everything. Ever since he lost his left arm battling with an ant, Roy has risked his life in the pursuit of tiny creatures. (a peaceful river bank; Roy and Hank are fishing) But it’s not all work and for relaxation they like nothing more than a days fishing. (Hank presses a button and there is a tremendous explosion in the water) Wherever there is a challenge, Hank and Roy Spim will be there ready to carry on the primordial struggle between man and inoffensive, tiny insects.
(Pull out to reveal the brothers standing on a tank. Heroic music reaches a climax.)
No mention of climate change being the cause? I’m surprised.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.