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Contributors » Mardon » Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes discovered by Mardon (#1857)

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Sighting Info

Observed: July 4, 2006 @ 6:00 PM
Posted on: October 5, 2013 @ 4:27 PM (diff: 2650 days)
This mosquito landed on my fingertip as I was doing some macro photography outdoors. I decided to try and snap a photo of the mosquito as it was having its meal of my blood. The ridges seen in the photo are skin ridges that form my fingerprints. In the upper right, you can see the blood inside the mosquito. It flew away before I could get another angle. Perhaps this single image may not be enough for a genus/species ID but after I took it, I became curious how the blood sucking works. I asked that question on and got the following answer from Omar Fahmy ( "Inside the proboscis you see, is an array of cutting, piercing and sucking 'utensils' if you will. The proboscis you see is a thin sheath that holds 2 thinner tubes and 4 razors (maxillae). So when a mosquito lands on you she senses for a good blood vessel by probing her proboscis around. Once she finds what she wants, she will push her head down and push her proboscis in. The outer tube, you talk about is the labium (see here So, the labium pushes down, but never goes in your skin, but the six other tubes (the 'clear' tube in your picture is actually those 6 pieces) do go in until the blood vessel is penetrated. The two tubes go in your blood vessel, the hypopharynx and the labrum. The hypopharynx is analogous to the human tongue. So the hypopharynx secretes the saliva of the mosquito. The saliva is used to make blood pump more around the bite so she can get her bloodmeal faster. The saliva also prevents blood from clotting and become dry. Unfortunately the saliva, as you mentioned already, is what carries all the nasty pathogens that cause disease in other organisms. Finally, the labrum sucks up the blood and the salive into her esophogus and the stomach."

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Newfoundland Nature

Newfoundland Nature

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