Today my colleague Emily Reed and I are wrapping up a successful and scenic collection trip in Palm Beach County, Florida. We have been setting traps at 17 collection sites along transects that have been studied for more than a decade now! We caught adults in BG-Sentinel 2 traps, and we collected eggs laid in ovicups. Stay tuned for the final number, but we definitely trapped hundreds of mosquitoes. (You’re welcome, Palm Beach County!)
Emily and I are interested in the gene flow and landscape barriers/corridors to mosquito movement in urban environments. We will be using the A. aegypti (Evie) and A. albopictus (Emily) to investigate these patterns in Palm Beach. Hopefully we can also get a sense of whether A. aegypti is winning back turf that A. albopictus has dominated since its introduction in the 1980s. Rumor has it the aegypti are adapting to avoid mating with albopictus – which causes sterility in aegypti females.
Another highlight of the trip was the wildlife! We saw mind-blowing trees, ibises, anhingas, funny Muscovy ducks, giant hawks, an ominous gator snout, hoards of iguanas, a scary-looking brown water snake, and – of course – mosquitoes of every shape and size.
Last but not least we visited some legendary mosquito researchers and inspiring young scientists at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory. Here we are with our gracious host, Phil Lounibos.
Thanks to everyone who made this a productive field season!