MOSQUITOES

Mosquitoes (Family Culicidae)

 

Mosquitoes can be considered as midge-like flies with extended narrow wings with scales along its veins and wing margins. The mouthparts take the shape of a long proboscis and the antenna in the case of male are generally plumose. The larvae are aquatic and called as wrigglers and are often seen surfacing to breathe through a siphon. They inhabit themselves in still water. The pupae are also active and aquatic. The adult females of majority of all the species feed on blood; the males never do the same.

Many mosquitoes are fatal disease carriers, acting as vectors for malaria (spread by Anopheles species), dengue fever (spread by Aedes aegypti), Zika fever (spread by different Aedes species) and other parasites and viruses. The majority of species are tropical.

Some common types of Mosquitoes:

Anopheles

The name Anopheles is coined from the Greek, An meaning “not” and, ophelos, meaning “profit”, and translates to “useless”. The female Anopheles is the only type of mosquito that transmits malaria and primarily bites between 9 pm and 5 pm.

While we have recognized about 460 species; 100 can spread human malaria, and 30-40 generally spread parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which cause human malaria in endemic regions. Anopheles mosquitoes kill about 4,40,000 people each year by infecting them with Malaria.  

Certain species of Anopheles can also act as vectors for parasites/basteria that causes Canine heartworm, Filariasis, O’ nyong’nyong fever and diseases that can lead to brain tumor.

Aedes

Aedes mosquito is majorly found in tropical and subtropical zones. You can identify them easily as they have noticeably black and white markings on their body and legs. Unlike in the case of other mosquitoes, they are active and only bite during daytime.

These mosquitoes are most active early in the morning and in the evening before dusk.

The two most noticeable species that spread viruses are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. They transmit viruses that cause Zika fever,  Dengue feverYellow feverWest Nile feverChikunguny and Eastern equine encephalitis amongst many other.

Culex

Culex is a genus of mosquitoes, out of which several species act as vectors of more than one important disease. The diseases they spread include arbovirus infections, filariasis, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, St.Louis encephalitis, and avian malaria. They are everywhere except for the deepest norther part of the temprate zone.

 

 

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