Written By Theodore Heron, Surveillance Technician
Along with the unique beauty of the species comes a unique host-seeking method. The majority of mosquitoes find their blood source by following carbon dioxide plumes, along with thermal taxis. Based on the Uranotaenia lowii host preference, one may surmise that their habitat consists of grassy, shallow margins of ponds and lakes, usually with moderate sunlight. So how does a pond-dwelling mosquito that feeds on cold-blooded prey locate their next meal? Research conducted in Costa Rica suggests that females of this little species have the ability other mosquitoes may not possess—acoustic sensitivity. Some researchers believe they may even have special sensory abilities. While some male mosquitoes are attracted to the noise of their female counterparts, Uranotaenia lowii is the only known species where females may utilize acoustic sensitivity to find an amphibian bloodmeal.
The species offers a delightful sight under a microscope; however, the lack of current research pertaining to Uranotaenia leaves more questions than answers about the possible ecological role this species may play in the waning populations of their amphibian victims.
Theodore Heron is an experienced Surveillance Technician at Vector Disease Control International. He can be reached through the VDCI website or by calling 800.413.4445.
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Since 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, military bases, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective integrated tick and mosquito management. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our tick and mosquito management professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated tick and mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to mosquito aerial application in emergency response situations.