No. Only so-called yellow fever mosquitoes (Latin name: Aedes aegypti) can transmit dengue in Aruba. There are three other mosquito species on the island, but they do not transmit diseases.
Where did this mosquito come from?
The Aedes aegypti mosquito originates from West Africa, and was transported to the Caribbean on slave trading ships. In Aruba, the mosquito only arrived sometime at the beginning of the last century.
What does it look like?
Aedes aegypti is a small, dark mosquito, which can be recognised by the specific black-white bands on the legs. They are easy to recognise when placed on a dark background, when the stripes become visible.
How far does it fly?
Adult dengue mosquitoes do not fly very far from the breeding site from which they emerged, generally not more than 250 m in their lifetime.
How does it transmit the virus?
When mosquitoes take blood from humans they inject saliva at the site of the bite, to prevent the blood from clotting. The saliva contains the virus, which therefore enters the bloodstream during bloodfeeding.
When do they bite?
Only female mosquitoes bite people, and they consume blood to produce eggs. In Aruba, dengue mosquitoes bite almost 24 hours per day, although there are peaks in the early morning and late afternoon.
What do mosquito larvae look like?
Mosquito larvae can be recognised in that they hang vertically in the water. Young larvae can be very small and hard to detect, a full grown larva is about 8 mm long. When they swim in the water, they wiggle their bodies, and sometimes they are called ‘wigglers’ because of that.
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