Every now and then my wife tells me off for using bad language. She points out that a blog post is no place for profanities and so I will refrain from using them in describing the tiger mosquitos that are causing a plague on the lower reaches of the Guadalhorce river.

Tiger mosquitos are not endemic. They hail from Southeast Asia but they have become quite widespread as a result of their association with humans. I must confess I did not know very much about them but am now a little wiser having read about them on Wikipedia. The article usefully pointed out that they are not to be confused with tigers which, apparently, are wild mammals!

I must try to remember that. I have made a quick mental note of some of the differences just in case; tigers don´t have wings, have only four legs, are hairy and have pointy teeth whereas tiger mosquitos are buzzy and small. Hopefully I won´t confuse them now if I happen to stumble across one when out on the river.

What these two do have in common though is a rather distinctive striped pattern and it is the black and white stripes that help us to distinguish the tiger from native mosquito species (they are similar sizes at around 5mm).

The arrival of this species is bad news. Their bite is very nasty and they will bite during the day as well as the night. What is more is that they are vectors of several important viral diseases including Zica virus and Dengue fever as well as diseases caused by nematode pathogens.

I hope to fish the Guadalhorce on Sunday and I hope I don´t get bitten by one of these little bastards.

Damn it – I´ve done it again!

Sorry Catriona.

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Aedes albopictus. Now at a river near you! I pinched this piccie from: (www.bugwood.org)