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J Med Entomol. 1997 Nov;34(6):579-88.

Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) dispersal--the long and short of it.

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Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, U.K.


A review is presented of all aspects of adult mosquito dispersal, encompassing transportation of mosquitoes by ships, airplanes and trains, long distance wind-assisted dispersal, and much shorter almost daily flights that mosquitoes make to locate mates, blood sources, nectar, oviposition sites, and resting sites. The many definitions and concepts of animal migration are debated, and instances of so-called mosquito migration, that is long distance wind-assisted flights, and the ecological advantages and disadvantages of such journeys are examined. It is concluded that there is little evidence that mosquitoes make purposeful long distance flights that can be classified zoologically as migration. It is argued that it is better to regard all mosquito flights as dispersal. Host orientation cues are not discussed, but the contentious idea of a memorized home range between feeding and oviposition sites is presented.

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