General Mosquito Anatomy

The mosquito anatomy is the same as most insects in the world. They have three body segments comprising Head, Thorax, and Abdomen. Like many other insects, they have wings, three pairs of legs, and mouthparts. Also, like all other insects they have a Digestive System, Circulatory System, Excretory System, Respiratory System, Nervous System, Muscular System, and Reproductive System.

Metamorphosis and Development:

Mosquitoes go through a complete metamorphosis to reach adulthood. This means that each stage of the mosquito (from egg to larvae to pupa to adult) looks and acts differently. The egg is laid on a water surface or in a place where water may be after flooding or rain. Eggs hatch once it is in water and the larvae and pupae live in water their whole life.

Male mosquitoes hatch before the female and once they hatch they wait around the brooding site to mate with the females. Once the female mosquito has mated she doesn’t need to mate again. Once she gathers blood she will return to the brooding site and lay her eggs. The male mosquito does not have blood-sucking mouthparts but instead spends his life gaining nourishment from nectar and plant juices (this is important with yard treatments and the Asian Tiger Mosquito). He will transport this nectar back to the brooding site for the larvae (mosquitoes do not need nourishment during the pupa stage of development).

The Internal Mosquito Anatomy 

Digestive System:

The mosquito digestive tract is a tube that runs the full length of its body and has various parts and glands to allow the insect to digest its food. In the mosquito anatomy, these parts differ from other insects in that the female has glands that produce a material which keeps the blood from coagulating while she is feeding. All insects require the same basic nutrients as humans: Fats, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals. The mosquito does not get as much of these nutrients in its adult life but makes up for it during its larva stage when it consumes enough to assist it during the adult life cycle.

We use the information we learn in the digestive system of the mosquito to control the population. For the female, we know she’s drawn to a human host and we combat this with our mosquito misting systems that kill her before she bites you. We are not as concerned with the male since he bites no one, but instead, we use him to sterilize the breeding pool and prevent further females from hatching.

Circulatory System:

The circulatory system of the mosquito anatomy (like other bugs) is like a human but very different. Mosquitoes have an open-end tube that runs the entire length of their body allowing blood to flow back and forth from one end to the other. Blood in the mosquito’s body flows in an open manner, rather than being restricted to blood vessels like humans. An insect’s blood handles many different functions. These include, but not limited to: food material absorption, waste disposal, carry oxygen to the body tissue, healing wounds, dispose of bacteria or other harmful organisms, and controlling the pressure inside the body of the insect.

Excretory System:

The process in which the mosquito discharges waste products from its body. The waste is disposed of through the body wall, digestive tract, and rectum of the mosquito. Wastes leave the blood by special excretory tubes known as malipighian tubules that attach to the digestive tract.

Respiratory System:

The respiratory system of the mosquito anatomy comprises tubes called tracheae, that extend into the body cavity. The tracheae divide into smaller tubes called tracheoles which carry oxygen to the tissues of the insect body. On the outside of the mosquito’s abdomen, there are tiny holes called spiracles. These spiracles connect to the tracheae. These spiracles are very important to us because it is through these spiracles our pesticide enters to kill the mosquito. The misting system we install at your home helps atomize the water particle to a size that is small enough for the mosquito to “breath” in and then kill it.

Nervous System:

The nervous system of the mosquito anatomy comprises of a brain (in the head) and pairs of nerve centers called ganglia. It is a developed system responsible for controlling the entire body of the insect. The ganglia and brain connect by a nerve cord. The ganglia and nerve cord are on the bottom side of the insect body.

Muscular System:

The muscles of the mosquito anatomy handle flight, hold together the shell of its body and creating the shape you see. The segments of the body connect with muscle bands responsible for holding it together.

Reproductive System:

The mosquito is one insect that has both sexes, male and female. The male mosquito passes sperm to the female through external genitalia. Once she has the male sperm she can use this to fertilize and lay up to 1,000 eggs in her lifetime.

The External Mosquito Anatomy

Head

  • Proboscis
    • Forward projecting needle that the female mosquito uses to feed on prey for blood or that both female and male use to draw nectar from plants.
  • Antennae
    • A sensory organ on top of the mosquito head.
  • Palps
    • Odor detector on the mosquito. This is primarily used by the female mosquito to sense carbon dioxide to find her blood meal.
  • Compound Eye
    • They have two large compound eyes with lenses called ommatidia. Additionally, they have photosensitive eyes that detect changes in light called ocelli.

Thorax

  • The thorax is the middle section of the mosquito and composed of three segments with one pair of legs branching from each segment. The mesothorax (the middle segment of the thorax) holds both a pair of legs and the wings and is the largest segment of the thorax. The upper portion of the mesothorax is called the scutum. The scutum has an arrangement of scales on it that form a pattern and used by scientists to identify the mosquito species.

Abdomen

  • Abdominal Segments
    • Specialized for food digestion and egg development. The female mosquito can hold up to three times her own body weight in blood in her abdomen. Blood is absorbed and used in egg production which replaces the blood in her abdomen.
  • Spiracles

 

For a more descriptive version of each mosquito you can visit our four blog posts for each species.

Aedes Albopictus and Aedes Aegypti

Culex

Anopheles

 

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