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Chersky 2013: Mosquitoes

(Photo: Min Jung Kwon) Mosquitoes landing on my shoulder (Photo: Min Jung Kwon) Mosquitoes landing on my shoulder Friday, 9th of August 2013 
 
I heard many stories about mosquitoes in the Arctic, but it is actually really interesting to experience them myself. Since they kind of 'rule' the tundra, their presence affects many aspects of our work out in the field.
 
For example, we have to be extremely quick when we go for nature calling outside, otherwise we have to scratch for the next days ... :-)
 
Without being sheltered with bug shirt and/or repellent, we have to shake our arms to prevent mosquitoes from sitting on our body, so we're basically dancing around all the time.
 
When I first got mosquito bites, my body had some kind of minor allergic reaction so all the bites were swollen and made big humps. Surprisingly now my body got used to them so it is just little a bit itchy now.

What if mosquito bites gave us some pleasant feeling? Would we be willing to donate our blood to be happy rather than wearing a bug shirt and spraying repellent several times a day?
 
If there were some people or animals that felt this way, they must have been extinct. And if mosquitoes were deadly dangerous (it will be different story in terms of Malaria though), then there would not be as many as mosquitoes like now because human will try to kill them or at least reduce their number or prevent them from sucking our blood by all means.
 
It is very interesting how mosquitoes and their prey have evolved like this to live together. Still, I'm wondering what they eat when they cannot find some poor scientist out there in the tundra ...

One day, I was looking at standing water in our site, and saw thousands of small insects swimming. Volodia (my body guard ) said they were mosquito larvae.
 
For some seconds, I wanted to catch all of them to make next year's field stay a bit easier, but then I remembered: MINIMIZE DISTURBANCE!
 
Maybe mosquitoes can take an important part in carbon flux mechanisms of this ecosystem already.
 
 
 
Written by Min Jung Kwon
 
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