Mosquito Facts!

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Mosquito
Image credit: John Tann cc2.0

Mosquito Facts!

Mosquito
Image credit: John Tann cc2.0

Mosquitoes are deadly animals because they transmit pathogens which cause many dangerous diseases, most infamously malaria, but also yellow fever, encephalitis and dengue fever. The mosquitoes must feed on a host who already carries the disease to transmit it to another.

Mosquitoes Spreading Disease

Woodland_Mosquito
Woodland Mosquito by treegrow cc2.0

Not all species of mosquitoes are blood feeders and not all mosquito species transmit pathogens. Also, among pathogen transmitting mosquitoes, not all species nor all strains of given species transmit the same disease, and nor do they spread the diseases under the same circumstances (e.g. change of habitat).




Why do Mosquitoes Drink Blood?

mosquito_sucking_blood
This female mosquito (Aedes aegypti) has filled up on human blood. Image credit: USDAgov cc2.0

Both the adult male and female mosquito feeds on nectar but only the female feeds on blood. The blood is very important to female because it provides her with the necessary proteins for the production of eggs. Its abdomen is specialized for food digestion and egg development; in fact its abdomen can hold three times its own weight in blood. Also the mosquitoes have specialized mouth parts, especially those of the females which are built to pierce the skin and suck blood.

Mosquitoes Lifecycle

mosquito_larvae
Unknown species of mosquito larvae in a natural spring holding tank – Big Valley, California. Image credit: Darron Birgenheier CC BY-SA 2.0

The mosquito life cycle consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The larvae and pupae dwell in the water. The larva spends most of the time eating algae, bacteria and other microbes.

Mosquitoes are featured in the following book:
25 Beastly Bugs and Insects


The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about Mosquitoes. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. A very educational film showing the life cycles of a mosquito, where it breeds and how to control it by ricsil2037
  2. BBC News – Malaria-carrying mosquitoes ‘more likely to bite’
  3. Malaria Lifecycle Part 1: Human Host by WEHImovies
  4. Malaria Lifecycle Part 2: Mosquito Host by WEHImovies




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