Mosquito Assassins by Anita Schiller

August 20, 2019
5555 Hermann Park Drive | Houston, TX 77030
Phone: (713) 639-4629
Times: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Admission: Early Bird to 8/13 - HMNS Members $10, Tickets $16. Regular price starting on 8/14 - HMNS Members $14, Tickets $20
Area of Town: Museum District

Within the water-filled vessels where pest mosquitoes and other aquatic creatures inhabit, lurks a hulking predator and mortal enemy: the native Mosquito Assassin, Toxorhynchites rutilus. As a juvenile, the Mosquito Assassin is finely attuned and adept at finding its prey. Mosquito larvae unfortunate enough to trigger its delicate setae, tiny hair-like follicles, will find themselves entrapped by its powerful mandibles, then consumed. Given enough food it will pupate, grow its wings, fly off to feed upon flowers, mate and once again find those rainwater filled containers where its offspring will find its preferred food on the menu: mosquitoes.Join entomologist, Anita Shiller to find out more about the Mosquito Assassins' unique biology and the role it plays inside the tropical, butterfly-filled landscape of the Cockrell Butterfly Center and how a local program aims to incorporate their use in the fight against Harris County³ omnipresent pestiferous backyard mosquitoes. Anita Schiller will highlight the unique characters of the Native Mosquito Assassin and discuss the history of and strategies implemented producing and utilizing agents at the Harris County Precinct 4 Biological Control Initiative (BCI).The BCI consists of dedicated technicians and scientists led by the program director Anita Schiller. As dedicated naturalist she has spent over 18 years within Precinct 4's Parks and Preserves team, Schiller's research focuses are ecological systems with an emphasis on entomological vector interactions and the integration of biological control within conservation. Her ambition and research acumen propel research and development--culminating into the program's national and international recognition at scientific and industry conferences.

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