MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Which five states in U.S listed in order has the least amount of mosquitoes

Date: Tue Oct 26 08:13:54 1999
Posted By: Trevor Cotton, Grad student, Palaeobiology Research Group, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 938999614.Zo


Mosquitoes (family Culicidae) main requirement is standing (not running) fresh water for breeding, since their larvae are aquatic. Secondly, like all other insects they are more active in warm weather than in cold weather. More information about Mosquito biology can be found on the homepage of the American Mosquito Control Association, which has numerous links and can possibly supply detailed data on mosquito distribution, and the (a href=" ~insects/njmos.htm">New Jersey Mosquito Homepage. It is worth bearing in mind that there are a large number of species (approx. 2000) and genera of mosquito (e.g. Aedes, Culex, Anopheles), each of which will vary slightly in their habitat preference and distribution. For example. some species can survive very cold conditions, some prefer permanent pools whereas others have eggs that can resist dessication and lay there egges in temporary pools.

Whilst I haven't been able to find figures for mosquito distribution, for the reasons outlined above, most mosquitoes will be found in areas with high precipitation (rainfall) and high temperatures. They are obviously highly unlikely to be in similar numbers in every state. States such as Florida, which is hot and has large areas of standing fresh water are likely to have mny more mosquitoes than, for example, Alsaka, which is unlikely to have many. Detailed information about precipitation and temperature in US states, so I'm willing to make a GUESS about the five top mosquito states and the five bottom states. If you do find the actual figures, then let me know how closw I was!! Maps of precipitation and temperature, taken from theNOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics Centre, and reproduced below, clearly show that the southeastern states are hotter and wetter than other areas of the US, these probably have the highest numbers of mosquitoes. Perhaps the top five might be Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The driest states are in the southwest, and so perhaps the lowest numbers of mosquitoes are found in Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. Hope this is of interest! < br> Trevor.

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