Currently viewing the category: "Mosquito"

Subject: huge brown mosquito
Location: Houston, TX
November 11, 2013 6:37 am
We ran in to a swarm of these huge brown mosquitos in Lake Houston Wilderness Park. They looked like and attacked like the usual varmints, but were maybe five times the size. A friend of ours said it’s the same type he saw in George Bush park a few days ago. What is this new-to-us creature?
Signature: Stephanie

Gallinipper, we believe

Gallinipper, we believe

Hi Stephanie,
Your photo lacks the kind of clarity needed for a definite identification, however, due to the large size, we believe this is a Gallinipper,
Psorophora ciliata, a native species reputed to have a very painful bite.  Because of the hard shadows, it appears that this photo was taken in broad daylight under sunny conditions.  It also appears the mosquito has striped legs, and for those reasons, we would not rule out that this might be an invasive Asian Tiger Mosquito.  Compare photos of the Asian Tiger Mosquito on BugGuide with those of the Gallinipper on BugGuide to try to determine which species you encountered.  Our money is still on the Gallinipper.

Yes, I believe that is the beast, thanks!  It was hard to concentrate on photography while being eaten 🙁

Subject: Insect Identification Request
Location: East side suburb of Cleveland, Ohio
August 6, 2013 5:14 pm
Need help identifying this insect. Appears to fly but possible that it just jumps far distances. Didn’t appear to be a spider…not sure. Daylight, outside, driveway of house, today, 8-6-13. Jumped or flew from arm to nearby ivy. Photos are of insect and ivy. Bit four times on forearm. Bites look similar to mosquito. Itchy. I have a short video if you’d like it. The front ’pinchers?’ would move open and closed, and open and closed.
Signature: Deb from Ohio

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Hi Deb,
We might have been in Cleveland when you sent this request several weeks ago.  We were out of the office and not responding to any mail for 2 1/2 weeks because of a family emergency.  This is an Asian Tiger Mosquito,
Aedes albopictus, an invasive introduced species.  According to BugGuide:  “The ATM differs from most other mosquitos in that it’s diurnal (active during the day).  Eggs are laid singly above the water surface on the sides of water-holding containers such as tires, animal watering dishes, birdbaths, flowerpots and natural holes in vegetation. Multiple generations per year; overwinters in the egg stage in temperate climates” and “The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive and aggressive species that was introduced to the United States during the mid-1980s. It was first collected in Texas in 1985, apparently having traveled from Asia in a shipment of used tires. These mosquitoes are vicious biters and have been known to transmit disease.”

Location:  Virginia
June 22, 2013
I’m in Virginia and was shocked to find this huge mosquito. From what I can find on the web it is a gallinipper and has recently been spotted in Florida and Alabama. Can you confirm this?
Thanks again,



Hi Neaderpaul,
We agree that this looks like a Gallinipper,
Psorophora ciliata.  According to BugGuide:  “The word gallinipper originated as a vernacular term in the southeastern US referring to ‘a large mosquito or other insect that has a painful bite or sting’ and has appeared in folk tales, traditional minstrel songs, and a blues song referencing a large mosquito with a ‘fearsome bite’ (McCann 2006).   However, the Entomological Society of America has not recognized ‘gallinipper’ or ‘shaggy-legged gallinipper’ as an official common name for Psorophora ciliata (ESA 2012).”  The data page on BugGuide shows the range as far north as Canada.
P.S.  Please use our standard submission form on the Ask What’s That Bug? link for future photo submissions.

Comment Courtesy of Angel van Gulik:  January 17, 2017
The other I was questioning was [this].
The coloration on the side of the thorax is atypical of the Psorophora ciliata, but it could be due to the lighting the picture was taken in.  Since I can’t see the top of the scutum to verify whether or not the golden mid-dorsal line is present, I can’t say for sure it isn’t.  Given the habitat and size, gallinipper is probably correct.

Backyard water larvae
Location:  Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA
November 9, 2012
I found these larvae in a kitty litter pan that had been left out in the rain a couple times. Any guesses?
(your neighbor in Highland Park)

Mosquito Larvae

Hi Josh,
You have Mosquito Larvae.  You should not keep standing water in your yard as Mosquitoes can multiply with amazing speed if conditions are right.  Cooler weather results in a slower maturity rate.

Cambodian missionaries being eaten by mosquitoes
January 31, 2012 11:23 pm
Hi!  My best friend and her family recently moved to Cambodia to minister and care for the street kids there (specifically children being held as sexual slaves)…apparently, word is out in the mosquito community that tasty Americans have moved in, because they (especially her children) are being eaten alive.  She said there were around 20 of them under her two year old’s mosquito net tonight.  They are, of course, using repellent, but it doesn’t seem to be helping very much.  There are holes in their house so there are LOTS of bugs everywhere.  Any ideas on a natural way to make their home comfortable?
Signature: Heather Wilson

male Asian Tiger Mosquito from our archives

Dear Heather,
Since you did not provide us with a photo to illustrate your question, we have found a photo of a male Asian Tiger Mosquito from our archives.  It should be noted that male Mosquitoes, which can be distinguished by their bushy antennae, do not bite.  The females of the species are the blood suckers.  We do not have any advice regarding repelling Mosquitoes, though there are many commercial products available.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide some comments to this posting and you may be able to relay that information to the Cambodian missionaries.

What is this bug?
Location: Manassas VA
November 2, 2011 8:55 pm
I need your help. What is this cool bug?
Signature: Tom K

Male Asian Tiger Mosquito

Hi Tom,
Your insect is the introduced Asian Tiger Mosquito.  According to BugGuide:  “The Asian tiger mosquito is an invasive and aggressive species that was introduced to the United States during the mid-1980s. It was first collected in Texas in 1985, apparently having traveled from Asia in a shipment of used tires. These mosquitoes are vicious biters and have been known to transmit disease.”  Unlike most Mosquitoes, the Asian Tiger Mosquito is a diurnal species that will bite during daylight hours.  According to
BugGuide:  “Adult females feed on the blood of birds, humans, and domestic & wild mammals.”  The antennae indicate that your individual is a non-biting male.