Using Mosquitoes to Find Pythons in the Everglades
A University of Florida researcher has found three species of mosquitoes feeding on Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades. Lawrence Reeves, a post-doctoral researcher at the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Lab in Vero Beach, says he and his team have recovered python DNA from the blood meals of those mosquitoes, and that it may be possible to detect the presence of the snakes using the technique. We'll learn more about his research and plans going forward.
In the future, Reeves says researchers plan to study if mosquitoes pick up diseases from Burmese python and pass them on to other animals or humans. Researchers have recently learned that Burmese pythons can become infected with the chikungunya virus and spread it to mosquitoes. Reeves’ study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.