Gnat head, light micrograph

Gnat head, light micrograph

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Credit: DR KEITH WHEELER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Gnat head. Light micrograph of the head (lower left), antennae (upper left), proboscis (lower right) and other mouthparts of a gnat (Culex pipiens). Most of the rounded back of the head is taken up by the compound eyes. The two long segmented antennae are used for touch and smell. The piercing mouthparts (stylets) are enclosed in a tube to form the proboscis, but here they have come out of the proboscis and can be seen as fine needles at centre right. When feeding, the stylets pierce the skin to suck up fluids. The male feeds on plant juices, and the female on blood. Magnification: x36 when printed at 10 centimetres across.

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Keywords: anatomical, anatomy, animal, antenna, antennae, biological, biology, compound eye, compound eyes, culex pipiens, entomology, fauna, gnat, head, hypopharynx, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, labium, labrum, light micrograph, light microscope, lips, mandible, mandibles, maxilla, maxillae, mouthpart, mouthparts, nature, proboscis, stylet, stylets, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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