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Mosquitoes – Introduction

Mosquito_Header (550 x 195)

Mosquitoes – How They Affect Humans

Introduction

There are some 3,500 species known in the world, and they sure make their presence known if you approach their habitat. Mosquitoes affect humans in many ways.

Mosquitoes are insects from the group of Diptera, having two wings and the family of Culicidae, from Latin, which means gnat, or small fly. The popular name mosquitoes comes from the Spanish word “mosca”, which also in this case means small fly.

 In many species the females are the bloodsucking pests, which need the blood to nourish their eggs. During the bloodsucking activities many species transmit diseases and as such are the dangerous vectors.

Males do not prick. Yes, I said prick, because the word bite is biologically incorrect. The mosquitoes have piercing and sucking mouth parts. This leads to this correction.

The mandibles and maxillae, original mouth parts, are fused and forming the stylet, or piercing mouth part, while the labrum forms the tube, through which the mosquito sucks the blood. The labium covers all the mouthparts as a sheath.

NB: There are insects of close relation to mosquitoes called pricking midges or no-see-ums, belonging to the family of Ceratopogonidae. with some 4000 species, one quarter of them within one genus Culicoides. They are smaller than mosquitoes (1-3mm) and mainly a nuisance, although some are known to transmit an agent causing filaria. The females also prick for blood on mammals and humans for their proteins needed for the eggs They are distributed all over the world. They are sometimes wrongly called “sand flies”.

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