Parasitic Relationships:

Both male and female adult mosquitoes normally feed on nectar from flowers and other plant fluids (Lobo, 2011). Female mosquitoes, however, require blood from a human or other mammal, usually domestic cattle and horses, in order to be able to lay their eggs (Lobo, 2011). Aedes aegypti are most commonly known for biting humans, since they prefer urbanized areas, but they will also bite many other mammals.

Apart from being parasites to humans, mosquitoes in the Aedes genus are able to spread other human parasites and pathogens. Some viruses, most notably yellow fever and the somewhat newly emerging dengue hemorrhagic fever, rely on Aedes mosquitoes to spread to new hosts. Although other species of Aedes mosquitoes can transmit these diseases, Aedes aegypti is the most common vector since it prefers to bite humans and prefers to lay its eggs in man-made containers that hold standing water in close proximity to homes (Lobo, 2011). For this reason, it is one of two kinds of mosquito focused on in most eradication efforts, aside from Anopheles mosquitoes, which carry malaria and thus pose an equally significant public health risk.

Predation of Aedes aegypti:

Aside from its parasitic and disease-transmitting lifestyle, Aedes aegypti and other mosquitoes play a role in their environment by being important food sources for both aquatic and terrestrial animals. Their aquatic larval forms are preyed upon heavily by some small fish, such as perch, bluegills and sunfish (Cavalcanti et al., 2007) as well as other aquatic animals, and adult mosquitoes are commonly eaten by small reptiles, amphibians, songbirds and even other insects such as dragonflies and damselflies. There is research going into investigating some aquatic mosquito predators, such as fish, tadpoles of frogs, and copepods, as possible biological control mechanisms for the reduction in population size or elimination of the Aedes aegypti mosquito from areas of mosquito-borne disease outbreak (Cavalcanti et al., 2007).



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