Mosquitoes are relatively small insects, averaging over 6 mm in length, weighing about 2.5 milligrams, and their body consists of three basic parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen.
What is a mosquito?
Mosquitoes , a group of about 3,500 species of small insects that are a type of flies, mosquitoes have a slender segmented body, one pair of wings, three pairs of legs, antennae, and a proboscis. The life cycle of a mosquito consists of the egg, larva, pupae, and adult. On the surface of the water, they hatch into mobile larvae that feed on aquatic algae and organic matter.
Females in most species have a tube-like mouth (called a proboscis), which can pierce the skin, in what is called a bite, in order to extract blood, and proteins that are necessary for reproduction, Thousands of species feed on the blood of different hosts: primarily vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and even some species of fish, and some invertebrates, especially other arthropods. This blood loss is rarely significant to the host, and mosquito saliva can cause Transmitted to the host with the bite causes itching and rash.
In addition, many types of mosquitoes inject pathogenic organisms with this bite, and thus are carriers of a large number of diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus, and others, so mosquitoes kill more than any other animal More than 700,000 years old, the oldest known mosquitoes with an anatomy similar to modern species, are found in the 79 million-year-old Canadian amber of the Cretaceous period , and the larger sister species with more primitive features are found in Burmese amber, which range from 90 to 100 million years ago, two mosquito fossils were found that show only very little change in modern mosquitoes from 46 million years ago, and recent studies indicate that the earliest divergence of mosquitoes, between the lineages leading to Anophelinae and Culicinae occurred 226 million years ago.
Basic parts of a mosquito’s body
Mosquito structure. The extent to which people know very little about mosquitoes. Most people are familiar with the annoying, blood-sucking, buzzing bugs. Not many people know that only female mosquitoes can bite, and that some types of mosquitoes can travel up to 40 miles to eat their food. Although mosquitoes are often viewed as a pest, knowing about a mosquito’s body composition and life cycle can give interesting and useful facts.
Mosquito body components: Like many insects, the body of a mosquito can be divided into 3 sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.
A mosquito’s head is packed with sensory equipment, which helps mosquitoes find people and animals to feed on. The head of the mosquito is round and bears the two compound eyes of the insect.
Be aware that compound eyes are made up of hundreds (maybe thousands) of tiny lenses. This is what helps the mosquito to carry out precise attacks.
A mosquito’s head also bears antennae and mouthparts.
The male mosquito has mouth parts that allow him to suck nectar, while the female allows the mouth parts to cut through the skin and prepare her meal from human blood, depending on the blood type that the mosquito loves .
Although both sexes feed on nectar, only females bite.
Mosquitoes’ antennas help them sense movement in the air.
They are so sensitive that using them a male mosquito can distinguish between a female mosquito’s wing stroke and a male mosquito’s wing stroke, which is one of the reasons why mosquitoes buzz around the ear and because female mosquitoes also like to get carbon dioxide.
The compound eyes
The mosquito has two large compound eyes covered with small lenses called ommatidia, which are able to detect any slight movement, and on the head of the mosquito there are also eyes, which are simple photosensitive eyes, that can detect differences in light.
Mosquitoes have their own antennae, and these horns stick out of their heads, and they contain sensitive receptors that detect carbon dioxide in human breath, from distances of more than 100 feet, and can detect the smell of chemicals that are released in human sweat.
There is also in the middle between the antennae, a hose with a long serrated tip, used to puncture the skin and suck blood, and this hose contains two tubes, one of which injects saliva, which contains a pain reliever and a mild anticoagulant, and the second that draws blood. these are the chemicals causing allergic reactions too mosquito bites.
The thorax of the mosquito is attached to the head, and it consists of an onyx, a pair of wings, a pair of halters, and small wing-like devices used for orientation, that grow from the thorax, and the legs come from the chest, and they are six, with small claws at the end of each to help mosquitoes survive.
The second part of a mosquito’s body is the thorax. The thorax in the mosquito’s body is divided into three small sections, the Prothorax, which is closest to the head, the Mesothorax, which is the middle part of the thorax, and third one which is the part closest to the back end.
Each of these subsections contains a pair of legs. The mesothorax has wings while the prothorax has a pair of spiracles, which are small holes that allow air to enter the mosquito’s body. Instead of lungs, mosquitoes have a series of tubes that connect to their body. These tubes are called the trachea and they help deliver oxygen to the mosquito’s various tissues.
- Belly or Abdomen
The abdomen hangs from the rib cage and serves as the stomach and lungs of mosquitoes.
The rear end of the mosquito is called the abdomen. There are 10 sections in the mosquito’s abdomen, each with a pair of respiratory openings except for the first, ninth, and tenth sections. The ninth section contains a hole for the passage of sexual materials. The tenth section contains the male or female sexual organs, according to the sex of the insect.
The respiratory openings
Small openings called (spiracles) open the sides of the abdomen, allowing mosquitoes to capture air, where the abdomen carries the blood received by the mosquito, and the abdominal nerve sends signals when it is full, and the eggs of the female are stored in the abdomen, and scientists use these small differences in the shape and color of the abdomen , as well as in the length of the upper jaw and wings, to identify the different species of mosquitoes.
Mosquito life cycle
The first stage of the mosquito’s life cycle is the egg. The eggs are usually laid in water or moist soil. Depending on the species, the eggs can stick together or float independently, on their own. Most mosquito eggs hatch after 48 hours. If the eggs are laid close to winter, the eggs can survive, until they hatch when temperatures rise.