Anopheles Quadrimaculatus Common Malaria Mosquito; Effect Of An Introduced Species On Foreign Land

778 words - 3 pages

The Anopheles Quadrimaculatus causes 1,500,000 human deaths world wide, every year. This creature causes its victims to suffer through immense torture before slowly killing them within a period of 10 days. What may come as a shock, is that I'm talking about a small Common Malaria Mosquito.Also known as the Anopheline Mosquito, these Malaria carrying parasites have been with us since the dawn of time. They probably originated in Africa along with mankind. Fossils of mosquitoes up to 30 million years old show that malaria was present well before written history. These parasites are highly specific; men are the only vertebrate host and Anopheline mosquitoes are the carriers. This specificity of the parasites also shows a long and adaptive relationship with our species. Malaria originally started in central Africa and spread to Rome where populations were destroyed in the cities. It soon spread even farther west and east.The Anopheline mosquito likes tropical or subtropical areas best for breeding. They prefer lakes or swamps for laying their eggs. This is why malaria is more common in Africa than it is here in the United States and Canada. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in still water. The female bunches the eggs together into a raft. The Anopheline mosquito's eggs have air chambers to keep them afloat. A major problem of these introduced species is the rate at which they reproduce. Female mosquitoes can lay up to four hundred eggs if the mosquito has had a blood meal. A blood meal occurs when the mosquito bites and sucks the blood from the mammal's system.The eggs will hatch in about 24-72 hours depending on the temperature of the water. When they hatch, out comes the larva from the egg. The larva eats algae and food from the water. They have brushes to filter the water and collect algae in their mouth to eat. This will in turn reduce algae populations for the other creatures that eat it. At this stage of the Mosquito's life, they would be considered primary consumers. Their position on the food web will change as they go from larva, to adult. They have mouth brushes to filter the water and collect algae in their mouth to eat.Presently, at least 300,000,000 people are affected by malaria, and there are between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 malaria deaths per year. Malaria is generally a problem in the...

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