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The image shows a flying insect, called a mosquito, viewed from above, pointing to the left, with its wings wide open and the needle, used in blood feeding, located on the left edge of the head.

It is characterized by narrow and small wings, rendered by texture of vertical and horizontal lines, a thin and elongated body like a tube, at the bottom, highlighted embossed, with a very small head and two long and thin limbs, at the top and four similar others at the bottom.

Additional information

The mosquito is an insect with global spread. It is the deadliest animal to humans according to the number of deaths (725000 victims every year) caused by the transmitted diseases (malaria, yellow fever, Zika fever, filariasis, dengue fever and encephalitis). Effective defense against mosquitoes is an extremely important problem, still unresolved globally. Mosquitoes develop in water. In most species, the females feed on blood.

3563 species of mosquitoes are currently recognized [bibliography 1].

The spread of mosquitoes is a global one, they can also be found on the peaks of  high mountains. 

The mosquito generally has a fragile appearance. The body is slender, elongated and covered with scales as are the veins of the wings, which is unusual in dipterans. The antennae of the male are generally bushier than those of the female.The mouthparts of the female are long, adapted for piercing and for sucking blood. The male has rudimentary mouthparts. [bibliography 3].

The mosquito goes through four stages in their life cycles – egg, larva, pupa and adult, as well as other insects such as fly, wasp, honey bee or ant.

Females lay eggs in standing or running waters, sweet or salty waters. The larvae develop in water, being known as wrigglers because of their wriggling motion in the waterA large number of mosquito eggs and larvae are destroyed by small fish. In most species, larvae feed on algae and organic debris,  although a few are predatory and may even feed on other mosquitoes. 

Unlike other insects, mosquitoes in the pupal stage are active and free-swimming. Larvae and pupae are under water, but on the surface.

Males feed on nectar and fruit juices, which is what females sometimes do. In many species, the female needs to obtain nutrients from a blood meal before it can produce eggs. Mosquitoes are attracted to host animals by moisture, lactic acid, carbon dioxide, body heat, and movement. Mosquitoes usually attack in the evening and at night, but not all species. For example, the Asian tiger mosquito generally attacks in the morning or in the afternoon [bibliography 4].

An average mosquito weighs between 2 and 2.5 milligrams, which should allow them to fly faster. This is not the case, however, because these small creatures reach only 1.5-2.5 kilometers per hour, making them one of the slowest flying insects of all. Mosquitoes beat their wings between 450 and 600 times per second. [bibliography 5].

Lavender, pot marigold, lemon tree, eucalyptus and basil contain chemical compounds that repel mosquitoes [bibliography 6].

Bibliography

  1. Mosquito Taxonomic Inventory, available at http://mosquito-taxonomic-inventory.info/valid-species-list accessed October 18, 2019
  2. MSN Encarta, available at web.archive.org/web/20090404114825/http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761560686/Mosquito.html accessed October 18, 2019
  3. Encyclopaedia Britannica, available online at https://www.britannica.com/animal/mosquito-insect accessed October 18, 2019
  4. enciclopedie.info, available online at http://www.enciclopedie.info/tantar/ accessed October 18, 2019
  5. truthul.ro, available online at https://adevarul.ro/locale/zalau/tot-nu-stiai-de-tantari-derutati-mirosul-ciocolata-masculii-hranesc-nectar-1_596a8abd5ab6550cb8294411/index.html accessed October 18 2019
  6. AlecoAir, available online at https://alecoair.ro/blog/tine-tantarii-la-distanta-si-dormi-linistit-6-trucuri-ecologici-eficient accessed October 18, 2019

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