Mosquito Anatomy

The anatomy of a mosquito looks best when squashed, splatted or zapped into an unrecognizable splotch. Nobody likes to get their blood stolen by nature’s disease-ridden needle, but when you separate the nuisance from the insect, the mosquito anatomy is truly a masterpiece of survival and evolution.

A watery development

Mosquitoes are known as ‟true insects,” meaning they have three major body parts: the head, thorax and abdomen. These three sections develop across three life stages: pupal, larval and adult. Each stage brings about unique features. For example, during the pupal stage, the mosquito has paddles to help it navigate through the water.

The larval stage sees gills and comb scales added to the developing mosquito anatomy, further helping the young insect survive in the water it so desperately needs to grow. If all goes well – or horribly wrong for humans – the mosquito has enough water and turns into an adult, ready to fly off and potentially spread diseases as it goes.

Adult insect sections

Though you can clearly see the head, thorax and abdomen segments during the larval stage, the adult stage is when these pests take the notorious mosquito form most people know and loathe.

A built-in straw

The most interesting part of a mosquito’s anatomy is also the part that sucks the most: the proboscis. This specially developed mouthpart consists of fascicle, a labium and two maxillas. Fascicle are bundles of long, feeding stylets. The scaly bottom lip of the mosquito is called the labium. The maxillas, with their razor sharp ‟nano teeth,” are used as microsaws, varying their frequencies to quickly rip through human flesh unnoticed.

The fascicle then penetrate this new hole and probe around for blood vessels as the labium braces against the surface of the skin to facilitate maximum blood transfer. Blood is sucked out by the mosquito, but not as a food source – the amino acids they steal actually help females lay more eggs. Males feed on nectar and pollen, so aren’t nearly as worrisome.

As interesting and horrifying as this may be, the only good mosquito is still a dead one. Don’t worry about the anatomy of a mosquito. Call Terminix® and introduce mosquitoes to their worst nightmare: a Terminix Service Technician.