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Using Mosquitoes to Find Pythons in the Everglades

Lawrence Reeves
www.lawrencereeves.com
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Lawrence Reeves

A University of Florida researcher has found three species of mosquitoes feeding on Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades. Lawrence Reeves, a post-doctoral researcher at the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Lab in Vero Beach, says he and his team have recovered python DNA from the blood meals of those mosquitoes, and that it may be possible to detect the presence of the snakes using the technique. We'll learn more about his research and plans going forward.

In the future, Reeves says researchers plan to study if mosquitoes pick up diseases from Burmese python and pass them on to other animals or humans. Researchers have recently learned that Burmese pythons can become infected with the chikungunya virus and spread it to mosquitoes. Reeves’ study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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Julie Glenn is the host of Gulf Coast Live. She has been working in southwest Florida as a freelance writer since 2007, most recently as a regular columnist for the Naples Daily News. She began her broadcasting career in 1993 as a reporter/anchor/producer for a local CBS affiliate in Quincy, Illinois. After also working for the NBC affiliate, she decided to move to Parma, Italy where she earned her Master’s degree in communication from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication is from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University.
RachelIacovoneis a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast LiveforWGCU News. Rachel came toWGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.
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