Mosquito Taxonomy & Identification

One of the essentials of good mosquito control is the proper identification of the species of mosquitoes encountered in control operations. There are now 171 known species of mosquitoes known in North America north of Mexico. Florida at present has 80 species, of which three have been introduced into the State since 1986.

The importance of this group of insects lies in the fact that not only they are terribly pestiferous, but some mosquitoare vectors of human disease. Indeed, eight of the species occurring in Florida are transmitters of such diseases as eastern encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue fever, malaria, and filariasis. Not all of these diseases are endemic in Florida, but the potential for their introduction by foreign travelers exists. The recognition of these particular species, and monitoring their population levels is of paramount importance. Keys for the identification of all North American mosquitoes have been prepared. Training in their use is important.

Contact: Roxanne Connelly