The mosquito is a tiny Insect with its long, thin legs perches on our skin to get the blood.
In the best case, it leaves us with an inflammation accompanied by itching; at worst, it transmits diseases that can become deadly.
We know that they are everywhere and, although we can not see them many times, that sound they produce with their transparent wings, similar to that of a trumpet, can drive more than one mad.
|Habitat:||They are found in almost all the territory of the planet, mostly in places where there is a greater concentration of water, since that is where the larvae develop.|
Mosquito . Generic name used to designate several families of insects in the order of Diptera, strictly refers only to the members of the Culicidae family.
Mosquitoes have four stages of development in their life: egg, larva, chrysalis and adult. They need water to complete their life cycles.
The larva is usually called wrigglers because they wriggle in the water all the time. The pupas are called tumblers,” live in water from 1 to 4 days, depending upon species and temperature.
The pupa is lighter than water and therefore floats at the surface. It takes oxygen through two breathing tubes called “trumpets.”
The common mosquito is characterized by being a flying insect it has 6 legs, three body parts head, thorax and abdomen .
Adults can measure up to 15 millimeters, and it is important to know that larvae always develop in the water, for this reason is that when there is an epidemic due to a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, it is requested that all types be removed from homes of water containers that favor the rapid reproduction of mosquitoes. Source
Male mosquitoes can be fed with wise, nectar and also fruit juices, unlike females that need to ingest the blood of mammals, especially before the time of the gonotrophic circle.
That is, males are fed with sugars and have a different oral cavity, in terms of anatomy, than females, whose mouth parts form a long proboscis prepared to pierce the skin of mammals (or in some cases birds, reptiles). or amphibians) to suck their blood.
Once the blood is injected and sucked, it transfers to the mammal its common venom, which causes the itching and swelling. (remember that other species of mosquito are transmitters of diseases in many cases serious for men and animals)
The female, places the eggs that will be larvae, once she ingests blood, and will always be put in water. It is not necessary that there is a large amount of water. In most cases, a height of 1 cm of water may be sufficient to complete your larval stage. Then, depending on the temperature, its growth rate varies, since if they have a low temperature, they will remain inactive until it increases.
If the temperature is about 20 degrees centigrade, the larvae can grow in about 14 days, while if the temperature is higher than about 25 degrees, they will grow in less time, in about 10 days.
How many types of mosquitoes exist?
Mosquito means “small fly”. These insects belong to the Diptera order and the Cullicidae family (Culicidae). They transmit some of the most serious diseases for man, such as dengue or yellow fever. In fact, it is estimated that there are more deaths associated with mosquitoes than with any other animal in the world. Around 3,500 different species have been described around the world. Source
In the world the species of mosquitoes in breeding seasons exceed -after number of termites and ants of the planet .
It is such the concentration of these insects in breeding season that, according to the blog of Bill Gates, in some cases can change population patterns.
“In many areas of malaria, the disease causes people to go inland, away from the coast, where the climate is most suitable for mosquitoes, ” read more at the source.
Interesting facts about mosquitos
The largest mosquito in the world
A giant mosquito 11.15 centimeters in size has been discovered by entomologists in the southwestern China province of Sichuan , the official Xinhua newsagency reported today .
According to the director of the Insect Museum of Western China , Zhao Li , the insect was found last summer during an expedition to Mount Qingcheng , a tourist spot located in that same province.
The mosquito belongs to the species ” holorusia mikado “, discovered in 1876 by the British entomologist John Obadiah Westwood during research in Japan, although normally its specimens do not exceed eight centimeters in length between the ends of its wings. Source
Mosquitos can live and reproduce even in a desert with no water
Female mostqutios need stagnant water to lay their eggs the desert is a dry place so how do mosquitos survive there.
When it was believed that insects did not pose any risk here due to being a desert area, researchers discovered that they are a serious public health problem, since species in the region can transmit dengue, West Nile virus, three types of equine encephalitis and chikunguña, warn specialists.
Some mosquito eggs are laid by adults that live in desert areas and can survive for months without any water. When the rain does come they are quick to hatch and grow up before the water pools formed in the wet season dry up again.
Other eggs can withstand being frozen in cold and temperate lands. These eggs hatch when the weather becomes warm again in the late spring.
To prevent all the larvae from dying if something should happen to a pool of water, some eggs are laid in such a way that they are spread out. That way there is a better chance of some of each group of eggs surviving. This also makes it so that the larvae aren’t forced into competing with their siblings. Some eggs that are laid in groups get around this problem by hatching at different times. If many eggs have already hatched, the remaining ones will wait until those larvae are gone until they begin to hatch again.
Some of the work done in this lab has shown that the larvae must touch the eggs in order to prevent hatching, and that the eggs don’t hatch when the larvae have removed bacteria from the eggs’ shells. Source
More dangerous than man
The mosquito represents a threat to half the population of the planet.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year about 725,000 people die from causes of insect – borne diseases.
And, according to the Bill Gates Foundation, man is responsible for 475,000 deaths per year.
But it’s not just about deaths, mosquito-borne diseases – like malaria, dengue, chikungunya or zika – can temporarily incapacitate hundreds of millions of people. Source
Not all species effects us neither sexes
Although more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes are known in the world, most of them do not bother humans at all: they live on plants and the nectar of fruit.
They are s or so females 6% of species such as the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus – the bloodsucking human to and from animals to develop their eggs. Source
A mosquito doesn’t use one needle
At first glance it seems simple, the mosquito introduces its proboscis , that elongated and tubular appendage on the head of the mosquito, on our skin.
But the appearances deceive, what it keeps inside that trunk is not one, but six needles .
Two of them have small teeth to penetrate the skin; two others serve as tweezers to keep the skin separated; and a needle to detect our veins and suck our blood.
And the sixth is to leave the toxins in the body, which is what causes inflammation and itching. Source
Blood enters and water comes out
As the female mosquito sucks the blood, it removes excess water from behind back onto its victim skin.
It is as if he were squeezing it to keep the most nutrients for his eggs. Source
According to National Geographic magazine , on average these insects can spend about four minutes sucking on our liquid.
“They suck so hard that the blood vessels start to collapse,” the article reads .
“Some of the vessels rupture and spread the blood in the surroundings”; and when this happens, the mosquito takes advantage of it and takes it directly from the well that it created .
And the diseases?
Not all female mosquitoes transmit the viruses and parasites that cause us diseases .
Those who transmit yellow fever, malaria, dengue and other disorders do so once they have satiated or thirst for blood .
Just before leaving, they leave us as a gift the virus or the parasite with their saliva.
This is what makes us sick and can even kill.
The virus or parasite does not really affect the insect; they only use the mosquito as transport.
Places in the world where mosquitoes do not exist
If you are at the limit of tolerance with these annoying insects, you are most likely interested in knowing which places are exempt from them. That’s right, there are places where there are no mosquitoes …
Iceland and Antarctica :
In these frozen regions there are no mosquitoes , scientists can not explain why they do not exist if they can be transported by wind currents from other islands or even in airplanes. It is believed that the chemical composition of water and land in Iceland is the reason, although even so, it is only a theory.
Republic of the Seychelles:
The Seychelles archipelago is an extraordinary place, mainly because it is a place where there are no mosquitoes . Not even a single one! And that taking into account that they are in Africa, the continent with the highest number of deaths due to malaria in the world. These archipelagos are free of mosquitoes because there was practically no mammal except bats.
With the intervention of man and the arrival of cattle and other types of mammals, mosquitoes would be expected to take the archipelago, but this was not the case. Yes there were certain outbreaks of mosquitoes brought in boats, although these same disappeared immediately. And the enigma continues, in other nearby islands cases of malaria have been reported , and yet the Seychelles remain clean.
This tiny archipelago is considered a “special collectivity” of France
A group of islands belonging to France found in central southern Pacific. Source Source Source
Global warming will make mosquitos more dangerous
Looking at the map you can see the most dangerous species are found in tropical areas which are hot areas. As global warming becomes more prevalant it will spread to parts of the world whoere they have never been seen.
In Europe the south of Spain already appears on the Map, but There warns that the warming will soon take the mosquito aegypti and albopictus to the entire Mediterranean, Spain, Italy, the Balkans and even France and southern Germany. Mosquitoes also gain ground in Latin America and extend their presence to areas far north in the United States. At the moment, the best trick for its control is in the diffusion of genetically modified mosquitoes to control their reproduction. Source Source
Why do they cause itching?
When a mosquito bites the skin of an animal it begins to absorb the blood, and while doing so it leaves traces of its saliva on the skin that serves as an anticoagulant , which helps it to eat better. But most of us have a natural allergy to their saliva, which is what causes the characteristic itching of mosquito bites
The females are the blood consumers
While the male mosquitoes feed on flowers and nectar, it is the females that attack us at night and cause us those horrible itchings, since they are the ones that chase the blood of the animals.
Why do they buzz in our ears?
Mosquitoes are guided towards us by means of carbon dioxide, which can be felt up to 100 meters away. As humans exhale carbon dioxide through the nose and mouth, mosquitoes are attracted to the face, making them more likely to be trapped after a self-inflicted slapping.
The smell of chocolate confuses them
What mainly attracts mosquitoes to us is the carbon dioxide we exhale. Researchers have found that instead of stopping breathing so as not to attract them, we can paralyze their receptors with other scents, for example, that of chocolate, which has proven to be very effective in avoiding being their next dinner. Source
Ease of reproduction
A female mosquito can lay between 100 and 300 eggs at a time and can produce between 1,000 and 3,000 offspring in the course of its life. Stagnant water is the main source of mosquitoes because it is easy to reproduce for them in this kind of environment, being a good idea to get away from the ponds if you want to avoid these noisy insects.
They have very bad vision
Mosquitoes do not see very well due to the arrangement that their eyes have, which has blank spaces between each eye and the next, so they can see up to about 10 meters away, and still have many problems to differentiate between the form of the objects. But this is compensating for the way they perceive things: through the heat. Using extremely sensitive heat receptors located at the tip of their antennae, used to locate blood close to the skin. Source
How do the females locate their victims
They locate their victims primarily through the sense of smell and partly by the low concentration of heated carbon dioxide as warm-blooded animals exhaled and partly by other scents from animals that signal that there is blood here.
Most species in are most active at dusk; this is probably due to the fact that mosquitoes largely rely on small changes in the air content of carbon dioxide to detect a possible change. At dusk, the carbon dioxide content varies as a minimum and then it becomes easier for the mosquito to discern its victim in the surrounding noise.
How do mosquitoes get to fly in the rain?
The mosquito , one of the most annoying insects of the summer season, is capable of flying in the rain despite the fact that a single drop dropped from the sky weighs 50 times more than this tiny insect.
How is it possible? Researchers from the Technological Institute of Georgia (USA) have used high-speed footage to unravel the mystery. And they have discovered that it is achieved thanks to its strong exoskeleton and its low mass. According to engineer David Hu and his colleagues, mosquitoes they receive forces of little impact from raindrops because their low mass makes the drop barely lose speed during the collision.
“The collision force must be equal to the resistance of the insect, and the mosquitoes are so light that they hardly resist,” the researcher emphasizes. That is why they are not “thrown against the ground” when it starts to rain. “If we repeated the experiment with a similar impact on a human scale, no person would survive: it would be like standing on the highway and having a car or a bus in motion run over us,” said Hu, who has published his results in the magazine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ). Source
Why do some people get bitten more by mosquitoes than others?
Mosquitoes choose their victims based on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit when they breathe and not, as popular belief affirms, for the “sweetness” of the blood, according to a study published recently in Nature .
A human being produces approximately one kilogram of CO2 every day, and each time he exhales -13 times per minute- he emits more than one hundred milligrams of this gas. The mosquitoes detect a current with pulsations of CO2, from which they deduce that behind there is “fresh blood” to suck. The carbon dioxide emitted when breathing is greater in adults than in children , and the amount varies depending on diet and physical exercise that are followed.
In fact, entomologists at the University of Florida (USA) have developed traps for these insects that emit carbon dioxide as a person or an animal would.
The lactic acid that we emit when breathing or through sweat also attracts these insects. Higher people and pregnant women emit more lactic acid and CO2, so they are perfect “whites” of mosquitoes. People who have just done intense physical exercise are also very attractive to insects.
Mosquitoes have their preferences when it comes to biting people, such as negative blood groups O and B . The professor from the University of Alcalá de Henares, stressed that “although we do not know scientifically why they prefer one blood to another, the truth is that if they can choose they will chop especially the negative O and B groups, while the A remain in the third place of their tastes. Source Source
They found a fossilized mosquito with blood 46 million years ago
An American paleontologist has found a fossilized mosquito whose stomach still had traces of blood from its last victim . The blood could be around 46 million years old and, according to experts, it would belong to a bird. The finding is one of the few primitive tests that exist of the hematophagy , a behavior that, in spite of being shared by 14,000 species of insects existing at present and seems to have evolved independently in diverse organisms, has scarcely left a fossil record.
Dale Greenwalt was looking for insects in the mountains when he made this discovery, which has been published in the journal PNAS, and then proceed to study your DNA. According to the characteristics presented, researchers have pointed out that it is a species that flew long after the dinosaurs became extinct . However, the bird that took the blood would be a descendant of these, which “can provide a lot of data,” said the scientist.
As for the contents of your stomach, two different types of X-ray light have been used that determine what chemicals are present. Thus it has been determined that the belly of the mosquito was full of iron , one of the main characteristics of the blood that carries oxygen to the rest of the body. In addition, evidence of porphyrins has been found, which join the iron in the blood, which leaves no doubt that it is this vital fluid. Source
Scents that “block” the smell of mosquitoes
The female mosquitoes use carbon dioxide (CO2) that emit locating living beings guests that nibble. In this way, these insects are vectors of diseases such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever. However, a study published in Nature identifies three aromatic molecules that can prevent the proper functioning of the mechanism of detection of the carbon dioxide of mosquitoes, acting on their receptors of CO2, which are located in appendices similar to the antennas near the mouth.
The molecules that the study collects are of three types: inhibitors, imitators and blockers. The former, like hexanol, inhibit the CO2 receptors of mosquitoes. Inhibitors, such as 2-butanone, mimic carbon dioxide and could be used as bait. Finally, blockers such as 2,3-butanedione “blind” the insects by causing an ultra-prolonged activation of neurons sensitive to this gas. “These substances offer advantages as potential tools to reduce contact between humans and mosquitoes and can lead to the development of a new generation of insect repellents,” suggests Anandasankar Ray, assistant professor of entomology at the University of California (USA) and author principal of the study.
To test the effectiveness of blocking molecules, scientists released Culex quinquefasciatus females-vector of filariasis- in a greenhouse divided into two cabins that also contained carbon dioxide-emitting traps. Next, they introduced with a fan a mixture of four odors of ultra prolonged duration only in one of the spaces. In that cabin, “most of the mosquitoes were blocked by the mixture of odors and their behavior suffered anomalies, so they were not able to detect the carbon traps,” explains Ray. In the other cabin the behavior of the insects did not change and they managed to reach the CO2 trap. Source
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