Wednesday, 28 November 2012

...more mosquitoes

Mosquito larvae are not straight forwardly lovely to look at. They are adorned with whiskers, sprout combs of spines and tufts of bristles.  Fan-like mouth parts strain algae form the water or hoover fine grains of detritus. They have the steam-punk feel of being slightly over-engineered, with a snorkel  tail and directional antennae.  Culiseta morsitans is the most widespread along the Bay and common in the UK too, although the map (from the National Biodiversity network, ) tells us more about how few people record mosquitoes than it does about the overall spread of the species. For example there are no red squares, which represent a record, plotted on a 10x10 km scale in national data bases, shown along the Bay (the arrow).  Culiseta morsitans is catholic in its needs for breeding; slacks, pools, ditches, freshwater or brackish. The females attack birds for a blood meal more than they do mammals, although humans are targeted. The fields and slack inland of the dunes have been submerged in the latest storm, but the new puddles and pools make a home for the mosquitoes as water levels rise and eggs are prompted to hatch. It is an ill wind.....

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