Mosquito

Mosquitoes (or mosquitos) are members of a group of almost 3,600 species of small flies within the family Culicidae (from the Latin culex meaning "gnat").The word "mosquito" (formed by mosca and diminutive -ito) is Spanish and Portuguese for "little fly". Mosquitoes have a slender segmented body, one pair of wings, one pair of halteres, three pairs of long hair-like legs, and elongated mouthparts. The mosquito life cycle consists of egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. Eggs are laid on the water surface; they hatch into motile larvae that feed on aquatic algae and organic material. These larvae are important food sources for many freshwater animals, such as dragonfly nymphs, many fish, and some birds such as ducks. The adult females of most species have tube-like mouthparts (called a proboscis) that can pierce the skin of a host and feed on blood, which contains protein and iron needed to produce eggs. Thousands of mosquito species feed on the blood of various hosts vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and some fish; along with some invertebrates, primarily other arthropods

Mosquito Control

Many measures have been tried for mosquito control, including the elimination of breeding places, exclusion via window screens and mosquito nets, biological control with parasites such as fungi and nematodes, or predators such as fish, copepods, dragonfly nymphs and adults, and some species of lizard and gecko.Another approach is to introduce large numbers of sterile males. Genetic modification methods including cytoplasmic incompatibility, chromosomal translocations, sex distortion and gene replacement, solutions seen as inexpensive and not subject to vector resistance, have been explored. According to an article in Nature discussing the idea of totally eradicating mosquitoes, "Ultimately, there seem to be few things that mosquitoes do that other organisms can’t do just as well—except perhaps for one. They are lethally efficient at sucking blood from one individual and mainlining it into another, providing an ideal route for the spread of pathogenic microbes." The control of disease-carrying mosquitoes may in the future be possible using gene drives.

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