Quote:Giant mosquitoes, the size of quarters, are likely to infest Florida this summer, according to experts from the University of Florida.
These huge, biting insects, which are called Psorophora ciliata, or more commonly known as gallinippers, invaded the state last year and, according to entomologist Phil Kaufman, there may be another invasion on the way.
"I wouldn't be surprised, given the numbers we saw last year," said Kaufman, an associate professor with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "When we hit the rainy cycle we may see that again."
Female gallinippers lay their eggs in soil at the borders of water bodies that overflow after heavy rain, such as ponds and streams. Therefore, they are referred to as floodwater mosquitoes.
The eggs can stay dry and inactive for a long time, even years, until waters are high enough to help them hatch.
Florida was hit by Tropical Storm Debbie last june, which resulted in flooding in several areas and the release of great numbers of gallinippers and other floodwater mosquitoes.
The mosquito is native to the whole Eastern side of North America and its body is approximately half an inch long with a black-and-white color pattern, making it look like a super-sized form of the invasive Asian tiger mosquito.
Just like all other biting mosquitoes, the female gallinippers feed on blood and the males feed on flower nectar.
The species is well-known for being aggressive and having a painful bite. "The bite really hurts, I can attest to that," Kaufman said. The pain has been described as similar to being stabbed.
Read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257493.php
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