If regular mosquitoes are like chihuahuas, small ankle-biting little buggers, then gallinippers would be pit bulls. They're twenty times the size of a regular mosquito, and have mouthparts so strong they can pierce through clothing. Their eggs can lie dormant for years, but scientists warn that weather conditions over the past year could mean that Florida could see an explosion of the winged beasts this summer.
After last summer's tropical storm, Florida saw an increase in the number of the mega-mosquitoes. Their eggs hatch after rainstorms and floods, and if Florida has another particularly wet summer, the eggs laid by last year's influx could produce a worrisome population.
"I wouldn't be surprised, given the numbers we saw last year," said University of Florida entomologist Phil Kaufman in a statement according to Live Science. "When we hit the rainy cycle, we may see that again."
Gallinippers are mean little monsters even in the larval stage. They'll eat the larvae of other insects (including those of regular mosquitos), and can even go after tadpoles. Once they reach maturity, the female gallinipper in particularly becomes a nasty problem. They'll feed on just about anything: human, pets, even fish. Their bite is known to be particularly painful, almost like getting stabbed by a needle, and can pierce through clothing. To make matters worst, they feed all day rather than just at dawn and dusk.
Unlike regular mosquitos, however, the gallinipper does not pass on diseases like the West Nile virus.
Though, luckily the gallinipper isn't known for making appearances in urban areas. So you're unlikely to see any in Miami, but could encounter some in trips to grassy pastures or swamp areas.
Should you find yourself in their habitat, scientist warn that you should be prepared with a bottle of insect repellant.
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