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Dangerous jewelry

Paulo Urbinatti / USPDon’t let what seems to be a string of amethysts fool you: it is best to avoid contact with the larvae of the Anopheles homunculus mosquito. This species, along with the A. cruzii, is responsible for transmitting malaria in the Cananeia region of the São Paulo State southern coast. Parasitologists from the Butantan Institute are studying the genetics and morphology of these insects to assess the differences between their population in the plains and in the hills, as this might affect their efficiency as transmitters of the disease. The beauty of the larvae colors, to which even researchers are not immune when they find them inside bromeliads on the Atlantic Rainforest (Mata Atlantica), is what differentiates the two species.

Photo sent by Camila Lorenz
Parasitology Laboratory, Butantan Institute