A mosquito dating back to the age of the dinosaurs has been found preserved in amber just like in Jurassic Park. And it may have been carrying malaria - shedding fresh light on a disease that kills more than , people a year. The insect became entombed in the tree resin million years ago - and is a newly identified species of the anopheline family. The mosquito inhabited tropical forests in what is now Myanmar during the Mid-Cretaceous Period - when T rex and Velociraptor roamed the earth. In the hit movie the prehistoric beasts were brought back to life by extracting DNA from dinosaur blood found in the gut of a prehistoric mosquito that had fed on them.
The adults mate soon after emerging from their pupal cases. The duration of the life cycle varies greatly depending on the species. Mosquitoes are apparently attracted to host animals by moisture, lactic aci carbon dioxidebody heat, and movement.
There are three important mosquito genera. Anophelesthe only known carrier of malaria, also transmits filariasis and encephalitis. Anopheles mosquitoes are easily recognized in their resting position, in which the proboscis, hea and body are held on a straight line to each other but at an angle to the surface. The spotted colouring on the wings results from coloured scales.
Egg laying usually occurs in water containing heavy vegetation. The female deposits her eggs singly on the water surface. Anopheles larvae lie parallel to the water surface and breathe through posterior spiracular plates on the abdomen instead of through a tube, as do most other mosquito larvae.
The life cycle is from 18 days to several weeks. The genus Culex is a carrier of viral encephalitis and, in tropical and subtropical climates, of filariasis. It holds its body parallel to the resting surface and its proboscis is bent downward relative to the surface.
The wings, with scales on the veins and the margin, are uniform in colour. Egg laying may occur on almost any body of fresh water, including standing polluted water. The eggs, which float on the water, are joined in masses of or more. The long and slender Culex larvae have breathing tubes that contain hair tufts.
The life cycle, usually 10 to 14 days, may be longer in cold weather. The northern house mosquito C. The genus Aedes carries the pathogens that cause yellow fever, dengue, Zika fever, and encephalitis. Like Culexit holds its body parallel to the surface with the proboscis bent down.
The wings are uniformly coloured. Aedes may be distinguished from Culex by its silver thorax with white markings and posterior spiracular bristles.
Aedes usually lays eggs in floodwater, rain pools, or salt marshes. The eggs are capable of withstanding long periods of dryness. It's unclear if fundamental wing frequency, which is related to body size, plays a role in mate choice, but experiments show that mosquitoes that are exposed to recordings of these "mating calls" choose to harmonize more with the wing frequencies of larger adults.
Chemical cues pheromones may also be important for mating, but researchers haven't investigated this much, Harrington said. Surprisingly, only a single mosquito species is known to actively engage in courtship rituals. Mating in mosquitoes is quick, sometimes lasting no more than 15 seconds, and usually takes place in the air, though it can also occur on a surface. Male mosquitoes have pincer-like structures called clrs on their abdomens, which they use to grab on to the female. The male's reproductive organ the aedaegus then everts and extends into the female's vagina for insemination.
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Interestingly, the male's seminal fluid contains a suite of chemicals that have a range of physiological effects on the female, such as inducing her to lay eggs or take larger blood meals, Harrington said.
Unlike male mosquitoes, which will continue to mate until they die, most female mosquitoes will mate just once. In most species, adult females lay their eggs in stagnant water: some lay near the water's edge while others attach their eggs to aquatic plants. Each species selects the situation of the water into which it lays its eggs and does so according to its own ecological adaptations.
Some breed in lakes, some in temporary puddles. Some breed in marshes, some in salt-marshes. Among those that breed in salt water, some are equally at home in fresh and salt water up to about one-third the concentration of seawater, whereas others must acclimatize themselves to the salinity.
Some species of mosquitoes prefer to breed in phytotelmata natural reservoirs on plantssuch as rainwater accumulated in holes in tree trunks, or in the leaf-axils of bromeliads. Some specialize in the liquid in pitchers of particular species of pitcher plantstheir larvae feeding on decaying insects that had drowned there or on the associated bacteria; the genus Wyeomyia provides such examples - the harmless Wyeomyia smithii breeds only in the pitchers of Sarracenia purpurea.
However, some of the species of mosquitoes that are adapted to breeding in phytotelmata are dangerous disease vectors. In nature, they might occupy anything from a hollow tree trunk to a cupped leaf. Such species typically take readily to breeding in artificial water containers. Such casual puddles are important breeding places for some of the most serious disease vectors, such as species of Aedes that transmit dengue and yellow fever. Some with such breeding habits are disproportionately important vectors because they are well-placed to pick up pathogens from humans and pass them on.
In contrast, no matter how voracious, mosquitoes that breed and feed mainly in remote wetlands and salt marshes may well remain uninfected, and if they do happen to become infected with a relevant pathogen, might seldom encounter humans to infect, in turn. Mosquito habits of ovipositionthe ways in which they lay their eggs, vary considerably between species, and the morphologies of the eggs vary accordingly.
MOSQUITO v - Beta version Help Mosquito get to the exit by turning lights in this great and interesting puzzle! GAME FEATURES + Unique and challenging puzzles! + 46 unique and interesting levels! + Decorate your garden by unlocking different kinds of ornaments! + Customize mosquito with hats! + Simple and intuitive gameplay! + Original soundtrack! *This is a beta version of the game, it. Africa has just months to react to an invasive malaria mosquito that thrives in cities, before the situation escalates beyond control, experts warn. Scientists predict that more than million city dwellers across Africa will face a higher malaria risk from a type of Asian mosquito that is . A mosquito is any member of a group of about 3, species of small insects belonging to the order Diptera (flies). Within Diptera, mosquitoes constitute the family Culicidae (from the Latin culex meaning "gnat"). The word "mosquito" (formed by mosca and diminutive-ito) is Spanish for "little fly". Mosquitoes have a slender segmented body, one pair of wings, one pair of halteres, three pairs Class: Insecta.
The simplest procedure is that followed by many species of Anopheles ; like many other gracile species of aquatic insects, females just fly over the water, bobbing up and down to the water surface and dropping eggs more or less singly. The bobbing behavior occurs among some other aquatic insects as well, for example mayflies and dragonflies ; it is sometimes called " dapping ".
The eggs of Anopheles species are roughly cigar-shaped and have floats down their sides. Females of many common species can lay - eggs during the course of the adult phase of their life cycles. Even with high egg and intergenerational mortality, over a period of several weeks, a single successful breeding pair can create a population of thousands.
Some other species, for example members of the genus Mansonialay their eggs in arrays, attached usually to the under-surfaces of waterlily pads. Their close relatives, the genus Coquillettidialay their eggs similarly, but not attached to plants.
Instead, the eggs form layers called "rafts" that float on the water. This is a common mode of oviposition, and most species of Culex are known for the habit, which also occurs in some other genera, such as Culiseta and Uranotaenia.
Anopheles eggs may on occasion cluster together on the water, too, but the clusters do not generally look much like compactly glued rafts of eggs.
In species that lay their eggs in rafts, rafts do not form adventitiously; the female Culex settles carefully on still water with its hind legs crossed, and as it lays the eggs one by one, it twitches to arrange them into a head-down array that sticks together to form the raft. Aedes females generally drop their eggs singly, much as Anopheles do, but not as a rule into water.
Instead, they lay their eggs on damp mud or other surfaces near the water's edge. Such an oviposition site commonly is the wall of a cavity such as a hollow stump or a container such as a bucket or a discarded vehicle tire. The eggs generally do not hatch until they are flooded, and they may have to withstand considerable desiccation before that happens. They are not resistant to desiccation straight after oviposition, but must develop to a suitable degree first.
Once they have achieved that, however, they can enter diapause for several months if they dry out. Clutches of eggs of the majority of mosquito species hatch as soon as possible, and all the eggs in the clutch hatch at much the same time. In contrast, a batch of Aedes eggs in diapause tends to hatch irregularly over an extended period of time.
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This makes it much more difficult to control such species than those mosquitoes whose larvae can be killed all together as they hatch. Some Anopheles species do also behave in such a manner, though not to the same degree of sophistication. The mosquito larva has a well-developed head with mouth brushes used for feeding, a large thorax with no legs, and a segmented abdomen. Larvae breathe through spiracles located on their eighth abdominal segments, or through a siphon, so must come to the surface frequently.
The larvae spend most of their time feeding on algaebacteria, and other microbes in the surface microlayer. Mosquito larvae have been investigated as prey of other Dipteran flies. Species such as Bezzia nobilis within the family Ceratopogonidae have been observed in experiments to prey upon mosquito larvae.
They dive below the surface when disturbed. Larvae swim either through propulsion with their mouth brushes, or by jerky movements of their entire bodies, giving them the common name of "wigglers" or "wrigglers". Larvae develop through four stages, or instarsafter which they metamorphose into pupae.
At the end of each instar, the larvae molt, shedding their skins to allow for further growth. As seen in its lateral ct, the mosquito pupa is comma-shaped. The head and thorax are merged into a cephalothoraxwith the abdomen curving around underneath.
The pupa can swim actively by flipping its abdomen, and it is commonly called a "tumbler" because of its swimming action. As with the larva, the pupa of most species must come to the surface frequently to breathe, which they do through a pair of respiratory trumpets on their cephalothoraxes.
However, pupae do not feed during this stage; typically they pass their time hanging from the surface of the water by their respiratory trumpets. If alarmed, say by a passing shadow, they nimbly swim downwards by flipping their abdomens in much the same way as the larvae do. If undisturbed, they soon float up again. After a few days or longer, depending on the temperature and other circumstances, the dorsal surface of its cephalothorax splits, and the adult mosquito emerges. The pupa is less active than the larva because it does not feed, whereas the larva feeds constantly.
The period of development from egg to adult varies among species and is strongly influenced by ambient temperature. Some species of mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in as few as five days, but a more typical period of development in tropical conditions would be some 40 days or more for most species. The variation of the body size in adult mosquitoes depends on the density of the larval population and food supply within the breeding water.
Adult mosquitoes usually mate within a few days after emerging from the pupal stage. In most species, the males form large swarmsusually around dusk, and the females fly into the swarms to mate.
Males typically live for about days, feeding on nectar and other sources of sugar. After obtaining a full blood meal, the female will rest for a few days while the blood is digested and eggs are developed. This process depends on the temperature, but usually takes two to three days in tropical conditions. Once the eggs are fully developed, the female lays them and resumes host-seeking. The cycle repeats itself until the female dies.
While females can live longer than a month in captivity, most do not live longer than one to two weeks in nature. Their lifespans depend on temperature, humidity, and their ability to successfully obtain a blood meal while avoiding host defenses and predators.
The length of the adult is typically between 3 mm and 6 mm. All mosquitoes have slender bodies with three segments: a head, a thorax and an abdomen.
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The head is specialized for receiving sensory information and for feeding. It has eyes and a pair of long, many-segmented antennae. The antennae are important for detecting host odors, as well as odors of breeding sites where females lay eggs. In all mosquito species, the antennae of the males in comparison to the females are noticeably bushier and contain auditory receptors to detect the characteristic whine of the females.
The compound eyes are distinctly separated from one another. Their larvae only possess a pit-eye ocellus. The compound eyes of adults develop in a separate region of the head.
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During the first phase of growth, this leads to individual ommatidia being square, but later in development they become hexagonal. The hexagonal pattern will only become visible when the carapace of the stage with square eyes is molted. The head also has an elongated, forward-projecting, stinger-like proboscis used for feeding, and two sensory palps. In typical bloodsucking species, the female has an elongated proboscis.
The thorax is specialized for locomotion. Three pairs of legs and a pair of wings are attached to the thorax. The insect wing is an outgrowth of the exoskeleton. Males beat their wings between and times per second. The abdomen is specialized for food digestion and egg development; the abdomen of a mosquito can hold three times its own weight in blood. The blood is digested over time, serving as a source of protein for the production of eggs, which gradually fill the abdomen.
Typically, both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectaraphid honeydew, and plant juices,  but in many species the mouthparts of the females are adapted for piercing the skin of animal hosts and sucking their blood as ectoparasites. In many species, the female needs to obtain nutrients from a blood meal before it can produce eggs, whereas in many other species, obtaining nutrients from a blood meal enables the mosquito to lay more eggs.
A mosquito has a variety of ways of finding nectar or its prey, including chemical, visual, and heat sensors. Among humans, the feeding preferences of mosquitoes typically include: those with type O bloo heavy breathers, an abundance of skin bacteria, high body heat, and pregnant women.
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When a female reproduces without such parasitic meals, it is said to practice autogenous reproduction, as in Toxorhynchites ; otherwise, the reproduction may be termed anautogenousas occurs in mosquito species that serve as disease vectors, particularly Anopheles and some of the most important disease vectors in the genus Aedes.
In contrast, some mosquitoes, for example, many Culexare partially anautogenous: they do not need a blood meal for their first cycle of egg production, which they produce autogenously; however, subsequent clutches of eggs are produced anautogenously, at which point their disease vectoring activity becomes operative.
Female mosquitoes hunt their blood host by detecting organic substances such as carbon dioxide CO 2 and 1-octenol mushroom alcoholfound in exhaled breath produced from the host, and through visual recognition. Mosquitoes prefer some people over others.
The preferred victim's sweat smells more attractive than others' because of the proportions of the carbon dioxide, octenoland other compounds that make up body odor. Of 72 types of odor receptors on its antennae, at least 27 are tuned to detect chemicals found in perspiration. First, the mosquito exhibits a nonspecific searching behavior until the perception of a host's stimulants, then it follows a targeted approach. Most mosquito species are crepuscular dawn or dusk feeders.
During the heat of the day, most mosquitoes rest in a cool place and wait for the evenings, although they may still bite if disturbed. Prior to and during blood feeding, blood-sucking mosquitoes inject saliva into the bodies of their source s of blood. This saliva serves as an anticoagulant ; without it the female mosquito's proboscis might become clogged with blood clots.
The saliva also is the main route by which mosquito physiology offers passenger pathogens access to the hosts' bloodstream. The salivary glands are a major target to most pathogens, whence they find their way into the host via the saliva.
A mosquito bite often leaves an itchy weala raised bump, on the victim's skin, which is caused by histamines trying to fight off the protein left by the attacking insect. Mosquitoes of the genus Toxorhynchites never drink blood. These mosquito eaters have been used in the past as mosquito control agents, with varying success.
Many, if not all, blood-sucking species of mosquitoes are fairly selective feeders that specialise in particular host species, though they often relax their selectivity when they experience severe competition for food, defensive activity on the part of the hosts, or starvation. Some species feed selectively on monkeys, while others prefer particular kinds of birds, but they become less selective as conditions become more difficult. For example, Culiseta melanura sucks the blood of passerine birds for preference, and such birds are typically the main reservoir of the Eastern equine encephalitis virus in North America.
Early in the season while mosquito numbers are low, they concentrate on passerine hosts, but as mosquito numbers rise and the birds are forced to defend themselves more vigorously, the mosquitoes become less selective of hosts. Soon the mosquitoes begin attacking mammals more readily, thereby becoming the major vector of the virus, and causing epidemics of the disease, most conspicuously in humans and horses.
Even more dramatically, in most of its range in North America, the main vector for the Western equine encephalitis virus is Culex tarsalisbecause it is known to feed variously on mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Even fish may be attacked by some mosquito species if they expose themselves above water level, as mudskippers do. In it was reported that some species of anautogenous mosquitoes would feed on the haemolymph of caterpillars. Mosquito mouthparts are very specialized, particularly those of the females, which in most species are adapted to piercing skin and then sucking blood.
Apart from bloodsucking, the females generally also drink assorted fluids rich in dissolved sugar, such as nectar and honeydew, to obtain the energy they need. For this, their blood-sucking mouthparts are perfectly adequate. In contrast, male mosquitoes are not bloodsuckers; they only drink sugary fluids. Accordingly, their mouthparts do not require the same degree of specialization as those of females. Externally, the most obvious feeding structure of the mosquito is the proboscis. More specifically, the visible part of the proboscis is the labiumwhich forms the sheath enclosing the rest of the mouthparts.
When the mosquito first lands on a potential host, its mouthparts are enclosed entirely in this sheath, and it will touch the tip of the labium to the skin in various places. Sometimes, it will begin to bite almost straight away, while other times, it will prod around, apparently looking for a suitable place. Occasionally, it will wander for a considerable time, and eventually fly away without biting.
Presumably, this probing is a search for a place with easily accessible blood vessels, but the exact mechanism is not known. It is known that there are two taste receptors at the tip of the labium which may well play a role. The female mosquito does not insert its labium into the skin; it bends back into a bow when the mosquito begins to bite.
The tip of the labium remains in contact with the skin of the victim, acting as a guide for the other mouthparts. In total, there are six mouthparts besides the labium: two mandiblestwo maxillaethe hypopharynxand the labrum.
The mandibles and the maxillae are used for piercing the skin. The mandibles are pointed, while the maxillae end in flat, toothed "blades". To force these into the skin, the mosquito moves its head backwards and forwards. On one movement, the maxillae are moved as far forward as possible. On the opposite movement, the mandibles are pushed deeper into the skin by levering against the maxillae. The maxillae do not slip back because the toothed blades grip the skin.
The hypopharynx and the labrum are both hollow. Saliva with anticoagulant is pumped down the hypopharynx to prevent clotting, and blood is drawn up the labrum. To understand the mosquito mouthparts, it is helpful to draw a comparison with an insect that chews food, such as a dragonfly. A dragonfly has two mandibles, which are used for chewing, and two maxillae, which are used to hold the food in place as it is chewed.
The labium forms the floor of the dragonfly's mouth, the labrum forms the top, while the hypopharynx is inside the mouth and is used in swallowing. Conceptually, then, the mosquito's proboscis is an adaptation of the mouthparts that occur in other insects. The labium still lies beneath the other mouthparts, but also enfolds them, and it has been extended into a proboscis.
The maxillae still "grip" the "food" while the mandibles "bite" it. The top of the mouth, the labrum, has developed into a channeled blade the length of the proboscis, with a cross-section like an inverted "U". Finally, the hypopharynx has extended into a tube that can deliver saliva at the end of the proboscis. Its upper surface is somewhat flattened so, when the lower part of the hypopharynx is pressed against it, the labrum forms a closed tube for conveying blood from the victim.
For the mosquito to obtain a blood meal, it must circumvent the vertebrate 's physiological responses. The mosquito, as with all blood-feeding arthropodshas mechanisms to effectively block the hemostasis system with their saliva, which contains a mixture of secreted proteins.
Mosquito, any of approximately 3, species of familiar insects in the family Culicidae of the order Diptera that are important in public health because of the bloodsucking habits of the females. Mosquitoes are known to transmit serious diseases, including yellow fever, Zika fever, malaria, filariasis, and dengue. Sep 12, Surprisingly, only a single mosquito species is known to actively engage in courtship rituals. In the South American species Sabethes cyaneus. A mosquito dating back to the age of the dinosaurs has been found preserved in amber just like in Jurassic Park. And it may have been carrying malaria - shedding fresh light on a disease that Author: SWNS.
Mosquito saliva acts to reduce vascular constrictionblood clottingplatelet aggregation, angiogenesis and immunityand creates inflammation.
Mosquito saliva also contains enzymes that aid in sugar feeding,  and antimicrobial agents to control bacterial growth in the sugar meal. It is now well recognized that feeding tickssandfliesand, more recently, mosquitoes, have an ability to modulate the immune response of the animals hosts on which they feed.
The mechanism for mosquito saliva-induced alteration of the host immune response is unclear, but the data have become increasingly convincing that such an effect occurs. T cell populations are decidedly susceptible to the suppressive effect of mosquito saliva, showing increased mortality and decreased division rates. Studies in humanized mice bearing a reconstituted human immune system have suggested potential impact of mosquito saliva in humans.
Work published in from the Baylor College of Medicine using such humanized mice came to several conclusions, among them being that mosquito saliva led to an increase in natural killer T cells in peripheral blood; to an overall decrease in ex vivo cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells PBMCs ; changes to proportions of subsets of PBMCs; changes in the prevalence of T cell subtypes across organs; and changes to circulating levels of cytokines.
Most species of mosquito require a blood meal to begin the process of egg development. Females with poor larval nutrition may need to ingest sugar or a preliminary blood meal bring ovarian follicles to their resting stage.
Once the follicles have reached the resting stage, digestion of a sufficiently large blood meal triggers a hormonal cascade that leads to egg development.
This membrane keeps the blood separate from anything else in the stomach. However, like certain other insects that survive on dilute, purely liquid diets, notably many of the Hemipteramany adult mosquitoes must excrete unwanted aqueous fractions even as they feed. See the photograph of a feeding Anopheles stephensi : Note that the excreted droplet patently is not whole blood, being far more dilute. As long as they are not disturbed, this permits mosquitoes to continue feeding until they have accumulated a full meal of nutrient solids.
As a result, a mosquito replete with blood can continue to absorb sugar, even as the blood meal is slowly digested over a period of several days. These are used as building blocks for the synthesis of vitellogeninwhich are the precursors for egg yolk protein.