Phone-wielding and bare-armed, I follow Scott Edmunds and Mendel Wong to a small park in the Mid-Levels area of Hong Kong Island, where a dengue outbreak occurred last year. We hit the jackpot within five minutes – a swarm of mosquitoes around a tree. With his phone, Wong snaps a picture of one that lands on his arm, as well as the breeding site – a pile of discarded rubbish in the alley nearby. From the picture, we can clearly see the white lines on its legs, the distinctive characteristic of both the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). “You don’t necessarily have to let it feed on you. You just need a clear picture of the front of its head,” says Wong. He uploads the picture to Mosquito Alert, an app which taps into the power of citizen science by allowing people to report sightings of mosquitoes and their breeding sites.
Source: Cheung, R., 2017. Hong Kong citizen scientists localise mosquito tracking app to let people report sightings of the disease carriers. South China Morning Post, 30 May.