Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger - Biting Insect Library

The Asian Tiger mosquito is a vector (carrier) of Dengue Fever, and a potential carrier of Yellow Fever, encephalitis, and heartworm in pets.

After first being found in Houston, TX, this mosquito species has quickly spread to other areas within the US. As a carrier of Dengue Fever, this mosquito species is believed to have been brought into the U.S. via shipments of old tires from Asia.



Description | Breeding | Geography | Interesting Facts


The Asian Tiger mosquito species is a vector (carrier) of Dengue Fever, and a potential carrier of Yellow Fever, Encephalitis, and Heartworm in pets. This daytime biter inflicts painful bites on humans which are the preferred “dinner” of the female mosquito. Learn about the symptoms of Dengue Fever, as well as the Dengue Fever mosquito breeding grounds.

Native to the tropics as well as a carrier of Dengue Fever, the mosquito name of the Asian Tiger originates from its striped tiger appearance. Approximately 3/16 inch in length, the Asian Tiger mosquito’s body is black with one white stripe on body and several white stripes across legs. This "Dengue Fever" mosquito species has antennae that are shorter than its head. Like every other mosquito, it has six legs and only one pair of wings.

Larvae are known as wigglers since they seem to move in that manner. They feed on fungi, bacteria and other tiny organisms through straw-like filters. These larvae will undergo growth throughout the four instars of this stage.

Pupae are known as tumblers because of the way they seem to “tumble” through the water. Their rounded, comma-like shape makes this mode of movement easy. These pupae do not eat during the 1-2 days in which they will become an adult mosquito.


Breeding Habits

The Female Asian Tiger mosquitoes will lay their eggs in almost any container. "Dengue Fever" mosquito breeding grounds include old tires, bottles, flower pots, aluminum cans, swimming pool covers, plastic cups, tree holes, and many other items that can hold even small amounts of water.

It is this flexibility in breeding habitats or containers that helps to make the Asian Tiger mosquito so prolific. Even without manmade discarded containers, the mosquito would still have plenty of choices for egg-laying. As long as there is a small amount of water, the Asian Tiger mosquito will continue to lay its eggs there.



After first being found in Houston, TX, this mosquito species has quickly spread to other areas within the US. It is believed to have been brought into the U.S. via shipments of old tires from Asia.

It began to spread throughout southern regions, then eastern regions, and so forth in the U.S. often by the mosquito “hitchhiking” on a vehicle to a new location. The Asian Tiger mosquito can survive in a wide range of climates, making it adaptable to virtually every state in our country. Due to mosquito migration patterns, the Asian Tiger mosquito can be currently found in more than 30 states, with more states reporting the mosquito, including Pennsylvania in 2008. If you live in the United States, most likely the mosquito migration patterns of the Asian Tiger will affect you. In fact, this mosquito has become a major pest in many communities, due to its close association with humans. Not only does the Asian Tiger mosquito feed during dusk and dawn, but all day as well. Although this pest may be quite distinctive in look, with its black and white striped body, this pest spreads dangerous diseases. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are a carrier of many mosquito diseases, including Dengue Fever, LaCrosse encephalitis virus and West Nile virus, as well as heartworm in pets. As long as mosquito migration patterns continue to spread from community to community, mosquito protection becomes even more vital for your family and pets.

How Do Mosquito Migration Patterns Affect Us?

Mosquitoes will increase in numbers quickly when they have ready access to standing water, as well as a blood meal, which is us. Can mosquito migration patterns increase the number of mosquitoes in your backyard? That depends on the mosquito species you are dealing with. Most domestic species remain fairly close to their point of origin. The mosquito migration patterns in the other species are more problematic. These mosquitoes are known to travel far from their breeding place. That means new mosquitoes could be moving in from the town next door. Typically, the flight range for females is usually longer than that of males. One of the factors that affect mosquito migration patterns is wind. Stronger winds can carry mosquitoes greater distances. Most mosquitoes stay within a mile or two of their source. However, some will venture as far as 75 miles from their breeding source.


Interesting Facts

Where is the origin of these mosquitoes? The Asian Tiger mosquito is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Southeast Asia. Although the origin of these mosquitoes is Asia, these insects have invaded many countries through the transport of goods and increasing global travel. The origin of these mosquitoes in the U.S. is a result of this as well. The Asian Tiger mosquito is believed to have been accidentally introduced into the United States in 1985 through used tires imported from Asia.

The Asian Tiger mosquito’s name comes from its black-and-white striped appearance.

This mosquito usually never travels further than ½ mile of where it breeds.

The female Asian Tiger mosquito is a daytime biter, and is often very aggressive and persistent. She may bite a person several times until she has gathered enough blood for her egg production.

Global warming will likely increase the spread of this mosquito to areas where it previously may not have survived the winters.

The Asian Tiger mosquito is invading new areas and replacing the less-aggressive Yellow Fever Mosquito species currently found in those areas.

This mosquito has been shown to be a possible vector, or carrier, of over 30 viruses, although not all of these viruses strike humans.

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