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Tiger Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes belong to the Culicide family, insects characterized by long and narrow abdomen and mouthparts that form a long rostrum for stinging and sucking.

Females of mosquitoes can lay their eggs directly on the water or in places that will be submerged only after a certain period of time.

Regardless of the spawning site, the hatching of the egg and the development of the mosquito larva can only take place in the presence of liquid water.

The various species of mosquito have adapted to allow their larvae to develop in different types of water: fresh, brackish, clear, turbid, polluted or not.

Usually there are no mosquito larvae in moving waters.

The speed of development of mosquito larvae, i.e. the duration of the period between the hatching of the egg and the appearance of the adult winged form,

is related to the temperature of the water in which the larvae are developing.

As the temperature of the infested water increases, the duration of the larval life phase decreases and, as a result, the appearance of new winged mosquitoes accelerates.

The Tiger mosquito, which arrived in Italy more than a decade ago from Southeast Asia, is now well adapted to our environments. It is therefore to all intents and purposes an Italianized mosquito.

It is very well distinguished from the common mosquito for the “tiger” livery In fact, it has a black body with white streaks on the head, chest, abdomen and legs, its dimensions are between 4 and 10 mm.

The life cycle of the Tiger Mosquito includes 4 stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The eggs are black and about half a millimeter long.

The larvae, which grow and develop in water, are arranged in a single row at the surface of the water, and are characterized by a large central thorn. Finally, the adult lives on the mainland. Particularly aggressive, the Tiger mosquito is active even in broad daylight. As it does not fly very high, it tends to sting mainly the legs of human beings.

They generally prefer open spaces, sheltered in cool and shady environments and therefore find refuge mainly in the tall grass, hedges and shrubs.

However, in recent years they have also been widely reported in sunny areas such as supermarket car parks or in industrial areas, where there are few trees.

From about 60 hours after the blood meal the females lay between 40 and 80 eggs, placing them individually just above the water level.

Thanks to refined bio-physiological mechanisms, Tiger Mosquito eggs can survive in quiescent form even during the cold winter and periods of drought.

However, it is sufficient that the eggs are submerged even in a small quantity of water for one hour, at mild temperatures, to hatch.

If the immersion lasts at least 7 days, the adult cycle of the mosquito starts again.

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