UF/IFAS Photo by Marisol Amador
The Gallinipper Mosquito can be 20 times bigger than common mosquitoes.
Large numbers of mosquitoes the size of quarters that leave a painful bite are expected to come to Florida this summer, reported the Gainesville Sun.
The gallinipper mosquito, which is native to Florida, lays its eggs in the soil, but the eggs can remain dormant for years until heavy waters help hatch them.
University of Florida entomologist Philip Kaufman was part of the team that created an information website about the mosquito, and told the Sun that this could be the year the eggs hatch.
“Because of the events last year, and the eggs laid, we can expect large numbers of these mosquitoes again," Kaufman said, adding that it will take "something like a tropical storm" for them to populate.
The species is notoriously aggressive and has a painful bite that can go through clothing, Kaufman told phys.org.
But the challenge with this mosquito is trying to avoid them.
"It is quite capable of biting through my shirt," Kaufman said. "We suggest people wear long-sleeve pants and shirts. Just doing that may not be enough for this type of mosquito; you're going to have to use one of the insect repellants to dissuade them from landing."
According to Kaufman, these mosquitos have lived in the state for thousands of years, but are more prevalent in Central and South Florida.