Climate change pushes the snow mosquito to La Mancha


Specimens of this mosquito, which lives in the high mountains, have been detected in a park in Ciudad Real

JML Real city

The snow midge (Aedes refiki) lives in cold parts of Europe where snow falls in abundance. This has been the case until now since specimens of this species have been captured in the Forest Park of La Atalaya, in Ciudad Real capital, in La Mancha, where it rarely snows. Scientists from the Hunting Resources Research Institute (IREC), which includes the Higher Council for Scientific Research and the University of Castilla-La Mancha, and the Clinical Virology and Zoonosis Group of the Maimonides Medical Research Institute of Córdoba, have shown the presence of this mosquito in the middle of Mancha.

These scientists believe that climate change is behind this strange phenomenon since "there is very little scientific evidence that a species adapted to cold environments is capable of colonizing warm areas, especially those that are warmer every year" indicates this study that is has published in the scientific journal «BMC Zoology».

According to its authors, this species takes advantage of the spring meltwater to complete its life cycle in pools of crystal clear water and its discovery in Ciudad Real shows that mosquito species, even those adapted to cold climates, are capable of adapting to extreme conditions. changeable to survive.

disease carriers

Although these scientists do not want to cause alarm, they do recognize in their work that studies focused on this species are scarce and it is unknown whether, like its invasive relatives - the tiger mosquito or the Korean mosquito - it is also capable of transmitting diseases such as dengue, Zika , Chikungunya or yellow fever. In addition, the snow mosquito is a very aggressive species, which feeds on mammals, including humans, "so its distribution should be studied in more detail, especially in urban and peri-urban environments," adds the study. As a result of this finding, the authors of this research recommend being cautious and taking preventive measures against mosquito bites, such as avoiding, as far as possible, exposure during the hours of greatest mosquito activity (dawn and dusk); wear garments that cover the entire body surface, apply topical repellents and use barriers such as mosquito nets to prevent their entry into homes, especially those near the La Atalaya Forest Park, in Ciudad Real.

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