"We found that the mosquito’s legs are covered by numerous scales consisting of the uniform microscale longitudinal ridges (nanoscale thickness and microscale spacing between) and nanoscale cross ribs (nanoscale thickness and spacing between). Such special delicate microstructure and/or nanostructure on the leg surface give a water contact angle of ~153° and give a surprising high water-supporting ability. It was found that the water-supporting force of a single leg of the mosquito is about 23 times the body weight of the mosquito, compared with a water strider’s leg giving a water-supporting force of about 15 times the body weight of the insect.” (Wu et al. 2007:1) Learn more about this functional adaptation.
Steekmuggen zijn bekend omdat ze steken en irritante bulten veroorzaken. Dat doen alleen de vrouwtjes; mannetjesmuggen zijn onschuldig. De vrouwtjes hebben het bloed nodig om eieren te kunnen leggen. Bij het steken spuiten ze een antistollingsmiddel in het lichaam, zodat ze het bloed zonder klonten kunnen opzuigen. Dit middel veroorzaakt de jeuk en de muggebulten. De larven van de steekmuggen zijn waterdieren. Ze hangen net onder het wateroppervlak in zoet water, waar ze algen en kleine deeltjes uit het water filteren. Ze zijn prooi voor vis, kevers en andere rovers.
"The antennae of male mosquitoes and midges are also adapted to find females of their kind, but in a different way. The brush-like male antennae are sensitive to sound waves, particularly to those of the frequency of the wingbeat of females; so when a male midge 'hears' a female with his antennae, he flies towards the source of the good vibrations. The response is so simple that the insect will be attracted to anything producing vibrations at the correct frequency (even a tuning-fork)…" (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:133) Learn more about this functional adaptation.
Mosquitoes are known for the irritating bites they cause. These are always the females; the males are innocent. The females need the blood to lay their eggs. When they bite, they release an anti-coagulating substance in the body, so they can suck the blood without it solidifying. This substance causes itching and mosquito lumps. Mosquito larvae are aquatic. They hang just under the water surface in fresh water, where they filter algae and small particles out of the water. The larvae are prey for fish, beetles and other predators.
"In mosquitoes the proboscis is a marvelously intricate structure…consisting of six different stylets, each adapted for a particular purpose--for making the primary incision, inserting anti-coagulant and digestive enzymes contained in the insect's saliva and, finally, withdrawing the blood itself. All the stylets are secreted within a protective sheath formed by the labium or lower lip, which, during blood extraction, is slid up out of the way into a loop form." (Wootton 1984:72) Learn more about this functional adaptation.
Culicidae (Mosquitoes) Adult mosquitoes occasionally obtain nectar at flowers, but they are not significant pollinators in temperate climates. Their larvae breed in water, while the females require a blood-meal from warm-blooded animals in order to lay numerous eggs. Mosquitoes can transmit numerous diseases to humans.
Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats Specimen Records:46381 Specimens with Sequences:35662 Specimens with Barcodes:32479 Species:1562 Species With Barcodes:1111 Public Records:20547 Public Species:571 Public BINs:573