Civic body research lab detects new species of mosquito

kolkata: The Mosquito Research Laboratory of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has recently identified a new species of mosquito named Aedes vittatus.

In India, the mosquito profusely breeds in peridomestic/ outdoor containers right from January to December.

According to Debasish Biswas, chief vector control officer, KMC, the list of its breeding sources includes: rock holes, tree holes, discarded containers, cement tanks, cement cisterns, septic tanks, mud pots, puddles, metal and plastic containers, swamp pools and so on.

A recent report has revealed an annoying feature of this mosquito.

The eggs of Aedes vittatus are resistant to extreme temperature and other climatic conditions. After surviving in granite rock pools at the temperature of 400 degree Celsius and relative humidity of 5 percent for a period of long 4.5 months, eggs of the mosquito hatches into larvae.

"The presence of 3 pairs of small round silvery white spots on the dorsal aspect of its thorax is its identifying character. Aedes vittatus is a voracious biter of humans," Biswas wrote on his Facebook page..

Viruses of dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and zika have already been isolated from Aedes vittatus with experimental evidence of transmission. The mosquito may be playing a low key role by maintaining these viruses during non-epidemic periods. Biswas, who has written several books on mosquitoes, feels that entomologists need to learn more about this variety of this mosquito as it has emerged as a new threat to public health, especially in the areas of its geographic distribution like Tropical Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean region of Europe.

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