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When humans think of mosquitoes, the first thing that comes to mind is the irritating bite. But not all mosquito species are blood suckers – and of the species that do suck blood, it’s the female of the species only. The mosquito uses long, segmented antenna to find hosts and breeding sites. Female mosquitoes emit a high-pitched whine, and the males’ antenna are specially adapted to detect it.
Nectar and other sugars. For some species, the females also feed on blood for the protein they need to produce eggs.
Virtually everywhere except Antarctica. There seems to be a mosquito species for every environment. Iceland claims to have no mosquitoes, although there are reports of people being bitten there.
This is a highly-studied creature, but conservation efforts are definitely not necessary.
- One recent publication listed the mosquito as the most dangerous animal on the planet, responsible for a million deaths per year through transmission of disease and parasites. Some scientists even argue that complete eradication of the mosquito would have no detrimental environmental impact and would actually save many lives. Other experts warn that mosquito larvae make up a huge biomass on the planet, and many birds would die without the mosquito for food. Since mosquitoes have managed to survive on Earth for 100 million years, the argument is most likely moot.
Culicidae – the family has approximately 3,500 different species
Animalia, Arthropoda, Insecta, Diptera, Nemaatocera, Culicomorpha, Culicoidea
Place of Birth
Stagnant water, damp mud or aquatic plants
About half an inch
Dark grey or brown
Depending on species, several weeks to several months – although most no longer than a couple of weeks