[align=left]Adult mosquitoes (flies belonging to the family Culicidae) are winged, terrestrial insects, while their immature stages (eggs, larvae, and pupae) are aquatic. Larvae and pupae are strictly aquatic, but the eggs of some mosquito species are laid in damp places to await flooding before larvae can hatch from them.[/align]

[align=left]Larvae molt their skins four times during their development, and at the fourth molt, they become pupae. Adult females of most mosquito species take blood from warm-blooded animals, this provides proteins needed for the development of eggs. Adult male mosquitoes, and females of some species, do not take blood. Adult mosquitoes of both sexes feed on plant nectars which they use as a energy source. Mosquito larvae feed by filtering particles from the water by rasping particulate debris from underwater surfaces, or by preying on other small organisms, depending on the species. Eggs and pupae do not feed. In general, all stages of eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults, are short lived, but there are exceptions.[/align]

[align=left]As of 2002, 78 mosquito species in 12 genera inhabit Florida. Almost all are considered native. Very few of them are in any way associated with bromeliads. In the United States, two journals are dedicated to publishing information about mosquitoes. They are the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, and the Journal of the Florida Mosquito Control Association.[/align]

[align=left]Mosquito-borne Diseases:[/align]

[align=left]The animal (or person) on which an adult female mosquito feeds is termed the host. Adult female mosquitoes of some species are capable of transmiting certain infectious diseases from host to hoast. Diseases are caused by protozoa, nematodes, and viruses. Malaria is caused by parasitic protozoans, and is transmited by some Ades and Culex species. Yellow fever and dengue are caused by viruses, and are transmited by some Aedes mosquitoes. Viral encephaltitides such as Eastern Equine encephalitis (EEE) and St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) have been transmited in Florida by some Culex mosquitoes. Whether a particular female mosquito carries* such a disease organism* depends upon its previous exposure to the disease. Yellow fever, malaria, and dengue have been eradicated from Florida by control of mosquitoes carrying them, but all three diseases exists in parts of South America. Though the diseases are no longer present in Florida, the mosquito species which might transmit them are still present.[/align]


[align=left]The viral encephalitides (EEE and SLE) are not uncommon in wild birds in Florida. From time to time these diseases are transmitted from bird populations to human and horse populations by Culex mosquitoes. Outbreakes in Florida of SLE in 1990, and EEE in 1991, received a lot of news coverage. During outbreakes of these dangerous diseases, personel of Florida's mosquito control districts monitor the diseases and use all legal means to suppress the mosquitoes capable of transmission.[/align]

[align=left]Monitoring the diseases is accomplished by the use of "sentinel chickens". Chickens are placed in outdoor cages, and their blood is checked for the presence of the virus. Mosquitoes caught in traps may be likewise checked for the presence of the virus. Medical practitioners are required by law to report human cases of the disease. Physical methods (source reduction) are used to reduce the habitat available to mosquito larvae and pupae wherever possible. Chemical pesticides, and biological control agents also are used against adult mosquitoes. Mosquito Control District Personel have the right to inspect private properties for sites producing disease-transmitting mosquitoes, and they can take legal action against property owners who allow conditions conductive to production of such mosquitoes.[/align]

[align=left]The University of Florida's Departments of Entomology, Nematology, and the Division of Plant Industry of Florida.[/align]