|Images and video of various species of mosquitoes
(chiefly female Anopheles mosquitoes)
showing most of them involved in the blood meal through which
they can transmit diseases
There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes. Three of the genera that are primary vectors for deadly diseases are: Aedes genus mosquitoes that cause yellow fever, dengue fever, and filariasis; Anopheles genus mosquitoes that carry malaria; and mosquitoes in the Culex genus that are vectors for filariasis, avian malaria, West Nile Virus, Japanese encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis. The diseases mosquitoes carry affect more than 700 million people a year.
These diseases are passed from victim to victim only by female mosquitoes. They have a special body part that juts out from their head. This proboscis is actually a sheath for two hollow tubes: one that injects saliva into the victim to keep its blood from coagulating and one that draws in the victim's blood. At the end of the tubes are two pairs of cutters that the mosquito uses to literally saw through the victim's skin.
The females need blood to nourish their eggs. They can lay 30-150 eggs every two to three days, so their need for blood is pretty exhaustive.
|For more information
After viewing these images, students will be able to visualize and describe the process of a mosquito biting a person.
|Can be used with existing lesson plans on
|Diseases and their transmission; malaria; anatomy; animal behavior; insects; mosquitoes; general biology
|Additional ways to use this asset to enrich your curriculum
|Images of mosquitoes (PDF | Word) from A Blood Feast