Deep in the bushes of North Side, within the Blue Iguana enclosure, the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) officers are busy conducting an experiment which seeks to find out which mosquitoes, if any, are feeding on our endemic blue dragons.
Heading up the research is Dr. Hamady Dieng of the MRCU, he said the team started the investigations back in May, but a lack of rainfall has hampered their efforts. Dr. Dieng said so far they have gathered a few blood-fed mosquitoes however, they won’t be able to tell if the blood was from a Blue Iguana.
“We don’t know exactly whether they feed on the Blue Iguana or people that are just coming around here,” said Dr. Dieng.
In order to find out which host provided the bloodmeal, Dr. Dieng said samples will be sent to the MRCU’s partner in the experiment the Mississippi State University.
Squash champ Julian Jervis traded in his racket for test tubes to intern with the MRCU. The biology major said he is hopeful their research will shed some light on the pesky mosquitoes that may be targetting Cayman’s Blue Iguanas.
Dr. Dieng said this initial research serves as the foundation to determine what mosquito-related threats if any are facing Cayman’s Blue Dragons.