Why naming all our mozzies is important


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that only around half of Australia's estimated 400 species of mosquitoes have been documented and named so far?


This matters, because any of the 200 undocumented mosquitoes could potentially spread diseases, especially when climate change is likely to change the distributions of mosquitoes, diseases and their hosts, potentially creating deadly new combinations.


This article in The Conversation details a new project at CSIRO's Australian National Insect Collection, funded by the Australian Biological Resources Study, Western Australian Department of Health, and University of Queensland, to deal with a major backlog of taxonomic work on Australian mosquitoes.


Currently, particularly if you're in a remote part of Australia, there's a very good chance that the mosquito biting you is a new species about which next to nothing is known, including its potential to carry disease.


That should be enough to keep you awake at night, even if that infernal whining isn't.

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