New Species of Small but Deadly Predator Invades Florida

Matthew C. Woodruff
MosquitoPhoto byErik KaritsonUnsplash

According to a University of Florida IFAS study another new mosquito species has made its way across the tropics into Florida, making a permanent home in at least three counties. UF Scientists are concerned because of the rate of new mosquitoes arriving in Florida and the potential for them to transmit mosquito-borne diseases.

The Culex subgenus Phenacomyia is a small and poorly studied group of three mosquito species native to the American tropics. This species was first discovered in Miami-Dade County in 2018 by UF/IFAS faculty while they hunted for other nonnative mosquitoes. Since then, thriving populations have been recorded in Miami-Dade, Collier and Lee counties. Scientists are concerned there hasn’t been enough research on the species and their potential disease risk.

The potentially disease carrying mosquitos are a hazard because they are under-studied and therefore it is difficult for scientists to know what to expect from them. The Culex group of mosquitoes includes important species that transmit the West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis virus.

Florida’s proximity to the tropics and climate conditions make it ideal for nonnative mosquito species. Scientists are concerned about the rate and frequency of new species establishing in Florida. As many as 17 nonnative mosquito species are established in the state. As the state warms due to climate change, nonnative tropical species have a better chance of thriving in Florida.

Mosquitos can carry and transmit Malaria, Dengue, Yellow Fever, Zika, West Nile and other blood born viruses as they fly from host to host biting and sucking blood. It is important to stay away from mosquitoes if you can or use a safe mosquito repellent.

About the writer: Matthew Woodruff is an Independent Journalist and Author who believes in Freely Accessible, Honest and Open Reporting. Visit at

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Matthew is an independent journalist, an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL

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