August 20th is the world mosquito day.
If man would have it, all mosquito’s would be eradicated and the journey began on august 20th discovering the female mosquito as the transmitter of Malaria in 1897 Since 1930’s the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has been commemorating this day.
This would mean a eradication of yellow fever, dengue, chikunginya, Japanese encephalitis. Of course.. But… it would also mean the eradication of chocolate…
Some facts on mosquitoes are
- Mosquitoes belong to the family Culicoidea. There are about 3500 species of mosquito.
- Of which only few hundred bite man.
- Mosquitos’ habitats are found across continents and across climatic zones, the common prerequisite being all stages of mosquito growth requires water.
- The life span of a mosquito depends on its sex, climate, humidity etc. the life span of a male mosquito is a week after it emerges from the pupa and takes flight. While the female lives for couple of weeks.
- The food of the male mosquito is plant juice while the female requires animal blood, before it can reproduce.
- An average female hatches about 500 eggs in her cycle.
What would happen if the mosquitoes were eradicated?
Well there would be major hiccups in the eco-chain and then the ecosystem will adapt to the no mosquito system, which could either be better or worse than the mosquito scenario. Simply because the mosquitoes have been in the ecosystem for 100 million years evolving with the chain.
The implication of this is that there is no prey for a predator, and no predator for a prey that would directly result in no food for a species and over population of the other.
It would mean no pollinator for many of the plant species.
The waters of Tundra is the home for a large biomass of mosquitoes, these mosquitoes are the food for many migratory birds, so eradication mosquitoes would mean 50% of these migratory nesting birds are deprived of food.
The swarms of mosquitoes in North American water bodies, steers the caribou tribe to move path facing the wind to protect itself from the mosquitoes, this results in trampling out of the lichens, transporting of nutrients, the dead or weak feeding the wolves.
The larvae of mosquitoes are the primary food for many salamanders, frogs and lizards.
The Cercotopogrid species of mosquitoes are responsible for pollination of cacao, the cocoa plant.
The US army research has come up with chemicals that will drive the female mosquito to suicide and render the male mosquito sterile. I am really sure if they are linked to one another. Maybe it is time to see what in the eco-chain have we disturbed.