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MRCU begins research to determine if mosquitoes are a threat to Blue Iguanas

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.

About the author

Andrel Harris

Andrel Harris

After completing high school in Cayman, Andrel Harris joined the news team as a Reporter Trainee in 2013. Now he serves as a reporter/producer, as well as the 'Cayman 27 Today' anchor. He also contributes to the talk shows and present weather forecasts. He hails from the district of North Side.

"Working with Cayman 27 has been a rewarding and eye opening experience. Through the power of the media, I've been able to help give a voice to the people living in Cayman." - Andrel Harris

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