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Interesting facts about mosquitoes

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We found 16 interesting facts about mosquitoes

A nightmare every summer

We don’t associate them with something pleasant. Every trip to nature, God forbid, near bodies of water, results in itchy bites of these insects. However, not every mosquito is a blood-sucking beast; their preference for this method of feeding depends on gender. Despite the discomfort they cause, Polish residents should value native mosquito species, as there are many species in the world that carry very dangerous diseases.

1

Mosquitoes are small insects belonging to the order Diptera.

All flies are characterized by one pair of transparent membranous wings. The first flies appeared in the world in the Triassic.
2

There are about 3500 species of mosquitoes, divided into 112 genera.

There are only 47 species of these insects in Poland, the most popular of which are the buzzing mosquito and the fork mosquito.
3

The mouthparts are piercing-sucking type. In females it transforms into one capable of piercing the skin.

This structure does not prevent the female from obtaining plant food, but only increases the volume of the “available menu”. Due to the fact that males feed only on plant liquids containing sugars, they do not have such a specialized oral apparatus. In both sexes it consists of two elongated lips, a mandible, a mandible, and a first pair of jaws.
4

Both sexes of mosquitoes feed on flower nectar, honeydew from aphids and plant sap. In addition, the females of these insects feed on blood.

Blood (more precisely, the proteins contained in it) is necessary for females to produce eggs, although blood is not their only food, but only an additive to the diet. In some species, blood is needed at all to produce eggs, in others it is needed only to produce more eggs.
5

To find a host, female mosquitoes find organic matter.

The organs responsible for detection are the odor receptors located on the antennae. Their number may vary depending on the species, but there are always several dozen. Mosquitoes most often look for sources of carbon dioxide, lactic acid, octenol or sulcatol.
6

In addition to olfactory receptors, mosquitoes also use vision and heat receptors to detect their host.

Most of them feed on the blood of vertebrates (even fish) and the blood of invertebrates, most often arthropods. A mosquito bite almost never causes significant blood loss in the owner and in this regard does not pose a danger.
7

The average mosquito is between 3 and 6 mm long.

Mosquitoes have a single pair of membranous wings with distinct scales on the surface. The wings are long and narrow, as is the entire shape of the body and legs. Mosquitoes range in color from brown to gray to black.
8

Mosquitoes undergo a complete metamorphosis.

This means that after hatching from the egg, they go through the larval stage, then the pupa stage, and only finally reach the adult form. The first three stages of mosquito development are associated with the aquatic environment. The adult mosquito leaves the aquatic environment after emerging from its pupal cocoon, which usually floats on the surface of a water tank.
9

Female mosquitoes usually lay their eggs in standing water along the edges of bodies of water, where they can attach them to underwater vegetation.

Different species choose different types of tanks to lay their eggs. Some choose lakes, some puddles, others swamps or salt marshes. The average female mosquito lays between 100 and 200 eggs in her lifetime.
10

Mosquito larvae develop within 5–14 days.

The rate of development is influenced by the characteristics of the species, temperature and amount of food. The mosquito larva has a well-developed head with a racemose mouthparts for feeding on plankton, a large body without legs and a segmented abdomen.
11

The pupal stage is shorter, usually lasting 3 to 5 days.

During this phase, the mosquito no longer focuses on feeding, but heads towards the surface of the water, from where it, as an adult, escapes from the aquatic environment.
12

The lifespan of mosquitoes varies depending on the species.

Some live for about a week, while others can live for several months. For example, an adult buzzing mosquito lives for about a week, while the Egyptian mosquito lives on average twice as long.
13

More than 700 people die from mosquito bites every year.

Since the beginning of mankind, it is estimated that about 5% of people have died from mosquito bites.
14

Scientists have been trying to study the composition of mosquito saliva for many years in order to use it in medicine.

One promising application of components of mosquito saliva is the development of anticoagulant drugs such as blood clotting inhibitors and capillary dilators, which may be useful in cardiovascular diseases.
15

Mosquitoes carry many dangerous diseases.

They are carriers of infections such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, filariasis, meningitis and RVF (Rift Valley fever).
16

More than 700 people die every year as a result of the diseases they spread.

Since the beginning of humankind, it is estimated that about 5% of people have died from pathogens spread by mosquitoes.

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