New invasive, disease-carrying mosquito found in South Florida

Insect may spread across the state

A new invasive mosquito that spreads yellow fever has landed in South Florida and could spread northward across the state.
A new invasive mosquito that spreads yellow fever has landed in South Florida and could spread northward across the state.

Until recently, the mosquito called Aedes scapularis had primarily been found near Central America and the Caribbean, however, Miami-Dade and Broward counties now have established populations.

The University of Florida published a new study suggesting the mosquitoes may spread north along Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

The potential for spreading yellow fever around Florida is high with this mosquito because it feeds readily from humans and is adapted to living in areas highly populated by people.

The Florida Strait had served as a barrier to Aedes scapularis, but now that it crossed the watery divide, it could spread out beyond South Florida to other environmentally suitable areas.

Model prediction including the model calibration region and the projection region; red areas indicate high predicted suitability and blue areas indicate low predicted suitability; (B) standard deviation of predicted suitability values across 100 bootstrap replicates; light blue areas indicate higher standard deviation values and dark blue areas indicate low standard deviation values. (Lawrence Reeves, UF/IFAS)

According to the author of the research, 10 new species of nonnative mosquitoes have been found in Florida since 2000.

Climate change, international travel and global trade are all factors in the spread of invasive species.


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