Introduction to the Aedes Mosquito
The Aedes mosquito, with the scientific name Aedes aegypti or Stegomyia aegypti is the main infectious carrier, or vector, of the dengue fever virus and can also carry other viruses such as the similarly infamous yellow fever virus.
The reason the Aedes mosquito has two scientific names is because the sub-genus that it belonged to, Stegomyia, was promoted to a genus in 2005, and therefore the scientific name of the mosquito changed from Aedes aegypti to Stegomyia aegypti. However, as the Aedes mosquito derives its common name from its original scientific name which is also oft-used, it is expected that many will continue to refer to the Stegomyia aegypti as the Aedes aegypti.
The Aedes mosquito is generally recognised by its prominent white stripes down the abdomen, although sometimes other mosquitoes with similar markings will be mistaken for the Aedes mosquito.
The Aedes mosquito is found in most of the tropics, especially prevalent in regions such as South-East Asia and Central Africa. It could also be widely found in the south-eastern United States but there it has been competitively displaced by the introduction of another mosquito species, the Aedes albopictus.
The scientific classification hierarchy of the Aedes mosquito is as follows:
Breeding and Habitation
According to the United States CDC travellers' page, the Aedes mosquito's peak active feeding times are just after dawn and in the late afternoon until a few hours after nightfall.
The Aedes mosquito, like most, prefers to breed in stagnant water, such as that in flower vases, buckets and gutters, but they can also breed in toilet bowls and wet floors if they are not cleaned or flushed for a long time. The Aedes mosquito breed just as well in urban residences as they do in the jungle, so it is not safe to assume that there is a lower chance of suffering bites if you do not venture near the jungle.
The Institute for Genome Research, or TIGR, has embarked on a project with Broad Institute to sequence the genome of the Stegomyia aegypti up to eightfold coverage. According to the TIGR, "Aedes aegypti has been used for detailed laboratory investigations of mosquito biology ..." With few exceptions, mosquito control remains the only viable strategy for preventing dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases.
"Determining the genome sequence of A. aegypti will complement the recently completed genome project for the African malaria disease vector, Anopheles gambiae (Holt et al., 2002). These two species represent the best characterized and most significant members of the two medically-important mosquito subfamilies, Culicinae and Anophelinae."
The TIGR used the BLAST program to compare and assemble the genome of the Stegomyia aegypti. The sequencing was completed in August 2005 and reaches 7.63 times coverage of the genome. Part of it is available for download from here