Tiger Mosquito Aedes albopictus
Members of this Order of insects are extremely diverse. Many are small and agile flies as their name suggests. Some flies carry the tainted reputation for being carriers of disease such as malaria and yellow fever. Fly groups include crane flies, midges, gnats, mosquitos, black flies, horse flies, window flies, robber flies, bee flies, house flies, fruit flies, shore flies, dung flies, flesh flies and many others.
This mosquito and a related species serve as a vector for Dengue fever virus. Mosquito larvae are aquatic, feeding on algae and organic debris. Larvae are named wrigglers and utilize a breathing tube to pierce the surface tension of their water nursery. The pupal stage is active and named tumblers. Adult male mosquitos feed on nectar and plant juices and have bushy antennae whereas female mosquitos are notorious for seeking the blood meal they needs to collect enough protein to lay eggs. Hawaii was mosquito free until 1826, when a boat from Mexico accidentally introduced the Culex genus. Hawaiians initially considered them a novelty for the “singing in the ears.”