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Aedes (Stegomyia) polynesiensis – Polynesian tiger mosquito

Aedes (Stegomyia) polynesiensis is dispersed through the South Pacific, occurring also in portions of the Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Tuvalu and other islands. Is is an important vector of dengue fever and filariasis and can also carry heartworm of dogs.

Polynesian tiger mosquito is a peridomestic species with a similar feeding and breeding behavior to the Asian tiger mosquito. Both male and female adults feed on nectar to obtain energy. Only females must feed on blood in order to form eggs. Aedes polynesiensis females choose humans, pigs, dogs, horses, birds or other animals as hosts.

Eggs of this mosquito are deposited individually just above the water line in natural or artificial containers (buckets, tires, tree holes, cups, fallen leaves etc.). The eggs hatch when rain falls, raising the water level and submerging the eggs. It takes about 7 days for larvae to grow up and turn into the pupal stage that lasts 2-3 days. And then finally adult mosquito emerges.

Polynesian mosquito is primarily a daytime feeder, with peak biting times in the early morning and late afternoon.

A. polynesiensis doesn’t transmit the dengue viruses through the eggs to their offspring, and mating males do not transfer the viruses to other females. Other mammals, such as dogs or pigs do not get infected and also do not transmit the viruses to mosquitoes. If female mosquito is interrupted while feeding on an infective person she might immediately continue her blood-meal from another person and mechanically transfer some of the viruses that are on her mouthparts.

Young mosquitoes can only get dengue viruses from an infective person. In 3-15 days the virus spreads into the salivary glands of the female and from that moment she will inject a few viruses each time she takes a blood-meal

Adults prefer to rest in dark, humid places, such as dense vegetation or crevices in stone walls.

13 to 17 percent of people in American Samoa were found to be infected with filariasis and it is clear, that elimination of lymphatic filariasis in Polynesia is unachievable without control of the primary mosquito vector Aedes polynesiensis.

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