There are about 10, 000 species of mosquitoes that are widespread around the world, they are absent only in Antarctica.
■ Blood-sucking mosquitoes live 1-2 months. Oral organs are characteristic of this family: the upper and lower lips are elongated and form a case in which long thin needles (2 pairs of jaws) are placed; in males, the jaws are underdeveloped - they do not bite and feed on nectar.
■ Before the female mosquito begins to drink blood, she injects saliva into the skin of her victim, which contains anticoagulants that prevent blood from clotting. It is the saliva of the mosquito that causes itching, swelling, redness at the site of the bite, and in some cases, a severe allergic reaction. And it is with saliva that mosquito-borne infections are transmitted.
■ The life of a blood-sucking female consists of several stages: searching for a victim, attack (sucking), digesting blood and maturation of eggs, searching for a reservoir and laying eggs. The female needs blood in order for the eggs to mature. She can drink blood 5-7 times its own mass and lay 300-350 eggs. After laying eggs, the female goes in search of a new victim.
■ The body length of blood-sucking mosquitoes does not exceed 8 mm, and long-legged mosquitoes can reach a length of 200 mm.
■ Mosquito wings can flap over 594 times per second.
■ Female mosquitoes during mating period attract the attention of males with a characteristic thin sound, reminiscent of a squeak, which is created with the help of wings. Mosquitoes pick up sound vibrations with their sensitive antennae. Females squeak slightly thinner than males, young ones - not like old ones. And male mosquitoes hear this and make a choice in favor of adult females. Mosquitoes form a swarm, where the mating of males and females takes place.
■ Eggs develop in still water. Larvae emerge from them, which breathe air, so they rise to the surface of the reservoir. The larva molts 4 times and turns into a pupa. Adult mosquitoes fly out of the pupae for several days and go in search of a mating partner.
■ Mosquitoes carry dangerous diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue and some encephalitis. Of these diseases, malaria alone is responsible for about two million deaths each year.