Came across this really good "How Mosquitos Work" article. To sum it up its Mosquitos 101! Thanks Mosquito Squad!
by Caroline Schroeder
Mosquitoes are on almost everybody's minds as they get bitten throughout the summer. But what makes mosquitoes the way they are? How do mosquitoes work?
Like all insects, adult mosquitoes have three basic body parts:
- Head - This is where all the sensors are, along with the biting apparatus. The head has two compound eyes, antennae to sense chemicals and the mouth parts called the palpus and the proboscis (only females have the proboscis, for biting).
- Thorax - This segment is where the two wings and six legs attach. It contains the flight muscles, compound heart, some nerve cell ganglia and trachioles.
- Abdomen - This segment contains the digestive and excretory organs.
Types of Mosquitoes
There are more than 2,700 species of mosquitoes in the world, and there are 13 mosquito genera (plural for "genus") that live in the United States. Of these genera, most mosquitoes belong to three:
- Aedes - These are sometimes called "floodwater" mosquitoes because flooding is important for their eggs to hatch. Aedes mosquitoes have abdomens with pointed tips. They include such species as the yellow-fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). They are strong fliers, capable of travelling great distances (up to 75 miles/121 km) from their breeding sites. They persistently bite mammals (especially humans), mainly at dawn and in the early evening. Their bites are painful.
- Anopheles - These tend to breed in bodies of permanent fresh water. Anopheles mosquitoes also have abdomens with pointed tips. They include several species, such as the common malaria mosquito (Anopheles quadrimaculatus), that can spread malaria to humans.
- Culex - These tend to breed in quiet, standing water. Culex mosquitoes have abdomens with blunt tips. They include several species such as the northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens). They are weak fliers and tend to live for only a few weeks during the summer months. They persistently bite (preferring birds over humans) and attack at dawn or after dusk. Their bite is painful.
To read about their life cycle and more, click here.