Observer News

Mosquito Monday Challenge Update - 23 August 2021

Mosquito Monday Photo Challenge Update

Keep it UP! We’re in the home stretch of the challenge and there are only two days left in the challenge, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop. Every larva photo you take will help researchers come one step closer to training their software to recognize and identify disease-carrying larvae and the habitats or land cover types they prefer.

The GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Photo Challenge kicked off Sunday, July 25, and by Monday, August 23 we now have over 1,500, photos of mosquito larvae, water habitats, and 4,000 land cover photos.  Thanks for all the great observations and photos so far! Read these weekly updates during the challenge online in the GLOBE Observer News section of the website.

Out in the Field

Shout out to Anita Schiller, Biological Control Initiative in Harris County Precinct 4, Texas and Mosquito Habitat Mapper Science Lead for GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper, Dr. Rusty Low. Below are a few photos from the field while hunting mosquito larvae in the Sky Islands, Southern AZ. Read more about this fieldwork.

Images of Anita Schiller and Rusty Low and their activities in the field.

Photo 1: Left, Anita Schiller and Rusty Low; Photo 2: Collection equipment; Photo 3: Mosquito assassin, Toxorhynchites rutilus, grasps its prey; Photo 4: Schiller inspecting oak and sycamore tree holes for Tox.; Photo 5: Schiller examining mosquito larvae. Image credits: 1,2,4,5 - Low; 3 - Schiller. 

If you have found larvae in tree holes, in rock pools, or in other unusual places, email with your finds.

The photos submitted during this challenge will be used to create automated classification programs that can identify mosquito larvae and the environments they prefer. Such computer programs can help prevent outbreaks of mosquito-borne disease. For more details on how you can participate, please see the Mosquito Habitat Photo Challenge webpage. And if you would like to learn more about the research being conducted with your submitted photos for the challenge, please read the full blog here: Machine Learning and Your Citizen Science Data.

Prevention Tips!

What can you do to reduce the chance of mosquitoes after you’ve taken your Mosquito Habitat Mapper and Land Cover observation? All mosquitoes like water because mosquito larvae and pupae live in the water. Some species prefer stagnant or non-flowing water, some species seek out brackish (slightly salty) and others prefer clean water. Know where to look – trashcan lids, buckets, kiddie pools, grill covers, and discarded tires. 

The wind is a natural mosquito repellent but keep your eyes open for their cryptic hiding places. Tall grass, bushes, and piles of sticks or branches are sources of shelter.  

Data Dashboard

Quickly find out how many and where observations photos have been submitted to the challenge with the Data Dashboard on the challenge website. Select the date range “During Challenge” in the top right corner. You can create a URL that starts the map view with your location.

Challenge dashboard: 873 mosquito observations with 317 larvae photos and 1,100 habitat photos and 700 land cover observations with 3,900 land cover photos.

Science is better together

Share your stories, questions, and activities during the challenge on social with the hashtag #MosquitoChallenge.

Opt-in for more news and a special challenge certificate

Would you like to get other GLOBE Observer news via email? Go to the settings menu in the app (small gear icon, bottom right), select "Opt-In/Opt-Out Settings" and then select yes under "Receive GLOBE Observer News" to receive future messages at the email address associated with your GLOBE account. If you opt in and have submitted observations of mosquito habitats, larvae or land cover during the challenge, you will receive a special certificate directly to your email.

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